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Abstract #5250

Axonal distributions: a simulation study to estimate Diffusion MRI signal contributions in white matter

Andrea Chiappiniello1, Valentina Reggioli2, Roberto Tarducci2, Marco Catani3, and Flavio Dell’Acqua3

1Physics and Geology Department, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy, 2Medical Physics Department, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia, Italy, 3NATBRAINLAB, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom

In the last decade, many techniques that use diffusion MRI to obtain an axon diameter estimate as micro-structural integrity index have been developed. However, recent studies showed that diffusion signal may be not sensitive enough to quantify axon diameters. In this study, we simulated a simplified model of white matter to evaluate the contribution of intra-axonal compartment to diffusion MRI signal in white matter. We found that, even in distributions with a small mean diameter, big axons still substantially contribute to the total axonal volume. We conclude that quantifications of human axon diameters from diffusion MRI may still be possible.

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