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Abstract #0060

Characterization of the brainstem connectivity and its microstructure using diffusion MR microscopy at ultra-high field (UHF) with strong gradients

Justine Beaujoin1,2,3, Christophe Destrieux4, Jérémy Bernard1,3, Fabrice Poupon5, Jean-François Mangin2,3,6,7, and Cyril Poupon1,2,3,7

1UNIRS, CEA/I2BM/NeuroSpin, Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 2Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France, 3FLI / Noeud Paris-Sud, Orsay, France, 4Laboratoire d'Anatomie, Faculté de Médecine/CHRU, Tours, France, 5UNATI, CEA/I2BM/Neurospin, France, 6CEA NeuroSpin / UNATI, Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 7http://cati-, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

The brainstem is a crossroad of the major motor and sensitive pathways but its structure is challenging to image. In this work, we demonstrate that ultra-high field(11.7T) / ultra-high gradients(780mT/m) diffusion-weighted MRI and diffusion MRI microscopy enable to map not only its finer structures, but also its fine connectivity revealed by HARDI-based tractography with the mapping of the structural connectivity of the locus ceruleus. We also assessed the enhanced contrast brought by diffusion multicompartmental models such as NODDI that reveals the microstructure of the brainstem structures, thus allowing to go a step forward in the undertstanding of its anatomo-functional organization.

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