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Abstract #0753

Characterization of Axonal Pathology Independent of Fiber Crossings in Multiple Sclerosis Using High-Gradient Diffusion MRI

Qiuyun Fan1, Aapo Nummenmaa1, Thomas Witzel1, Ned Ohringer1, Lawrence L Wald1, Eric Klawiter2, and Susie Y Huang1

1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States, 2Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States

Axonal damage is thought to be the substrate of disability in multiple sclerosis. We have recently introduced a method based on the spherical mean framework that provides per-voxel axon diameter and volume fraction that is independent of fiber crossings/dispersion. We apply this approach to estimate whole brain axon diameter and density in a group of patients with MS to healthy controls. Widespread alterations in axon diameter and density were found throughout the NAWM and lesions of MS patients that may reflect diffuse axonal loss and swelling in the setting of chronic demyelination.

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