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Abstract #1560

Free Water Elimination Improves Tractography Through Multiple Sclerosis Lesions

Brittany Gilchrist1,2, Sidong Liu1,3,4, Chenyu Wang3,4, Ofer Pasternak5, Yuyi You1,2, and Alexander Klistorner1,2,3

1Save Sight Institute, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 3Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 4Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre, Sydney, Australia, 5Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Axonal loss within chronic MS lesions is typically accompanied by increase of extra-cellular space. Reduction of anisotropy caused by this excessive extra-cellular water may limit the ability of tractography techniques to accurately detect fibre bundles. The aim of this study was to examine if application of free water elimination (FWE) algorithm may improve deterministic tractography through MS lesions. We show that elimination of free water markedly increases detection of lesional fibre bundles. While this effect was observed in the majority of lesions, it was more apparent in lesions with small initial number of fibres and in lesions categorised as severely damaged.

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