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Abstract #3045

Diffusion MRI detects early axon loss despite confounding inflammation in optic neuritis

Carlos J Perez-Torres 1 , Tsen-Hsuan Lin 1 , Chia-Wen Chiang 1 , Peng Sun 1 , Yong Wang 1,2 , Anne H Cross 2,3 , and Sheng-Kwei Song 1,2

1 Radiology, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, United States, 2 Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, United States, 3 Neurology, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, United States

Atrophy assessed by structural MRI is a common image marker of axon/neuron loss in CNS diseases. However, atrophy can be underestimated by confounding increase in tissue volume resulting from elevated cellularity and edema resulting from inflammation. With diffusion basis spectrum imaging, we can quantify an axon volume which is a combination of the percent of signal associated with fibers and optic nerve volume, removing non-fiber partial volume effect. This axon volume detected axon loss in the presence of confounding inflammation at the onset of optic neuritis in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model.

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