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Abstract #0411

Investigation of the Diffusion Tensor's Primary Eigenvector Correspondence to Tissue Structure in MR Microscopy of the Human Spinal Cord with Direct Comparison to Histology

Brian Hansen1, Jeremy J. Flint2,3, Choong Heon-Lee3,4, Michael Fey5, Franck Vincent5, Michael A. King6, Peter Vestergaard-Poulsen1, Stephen J. Blackband7

1Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN), Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 2Department of Neuroscience, University of Florida; 3McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 4Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 5Bruker Biospin; 6Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Florida; 7Department of Neuroscience, Center for Structural Biology & National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, University of Florida

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography (DTT) are regularly used for investigating tissue structure and for delineating white matter tracts. Recently, we proposed a method for comparing DTT results to the histology of the actual tissue on which DTI experiments were performed. Here we present new results obtained using these methods on samples of the ventral horn in human spinal cord. Specifically, we extract the primary eigenvector from DTI measurements at microscopic resolution and compare this microstructural information to myelin-stained histology of the tissue samples employed. Our results confirm that the primary eigenvector reflects microstructure clearly. These results are relevant to techniques in which tissue structure is investigated using the primary eigenvector.