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Abstract #0418

Investigation of Advanced Diffusion Models in the Spinal Cord: Comparison of NODDI and SMT in MS Patients

Samantha By1,2, Junzhong Xu2,3, Bailey Box2, and Seth A. Smith1,2,3

1Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States, 3Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States

NODDI and Spherical Mean Technique (SMT) are multi-compartmental diffusion models that have demonstrated promise in the brain, but have never been applied to the in vivo spinal cord in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. These models estimate axonal volume fractions, which can be indicative of microstructural integrity. We apply NODDI and SMT in healthy controls and MS patients to evaluate feasibility of both models in the human spinal cord. Results indicate that NODDI (p=0.004) and SMT (p=0.030) can characterize disparity in axonal volume fraction in MS patients, suggesting potential utility of advanced diffusion models in the spinal cord.

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