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Abstract #0400

Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Pediatric Spinal Cord using an Inner-FoV EPI Pulse Sequence in Normals & Patients with SCI

Nadia Barakat1, Louis Hunter2, Jrgen Finsterbusch3, John Gaughan1, Amer Samdani2, M. J. Mulcahey2, Randal Betz2, Scott Faro1, Feroze Mohamed1

1Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Shriners Hospital For Children; 3University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) of the pediatric Spinal Cord (SC) poses several challenges. The small cord size has inherent low Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the diffusion signal which is vital in MR imaging, respiration/cardiac movements cause artifacts, and echo planar imaging sequences used for obtaining diffusion indices cause eddy current distortions (1). The choice of the MRI pulse sequence and its proper optimization are crucial to successfully overcome these challenges. The purpose of this study was to (a) evaluate the validity and reliability of DTI in children using a newly developed inner-Field-of-View (iFoV) sequence with spatially selective 2D RF excitations (2), (b) examine reproducibility of the DTI measures and (c) investigate DTI parameters in children with and without Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).