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Abstract #5264

Free-Water Elimination Diffusion Tensor Imaging to Assess Nerve Recovery in Excised Rat Nerve

Shashank Manjunath1, Isaac V. Manzanera-Esteve1, Wesley P. Thayer2, Mark D. Does1, and Richard D. Dortch1

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, United States

We present our findings using a free water elimination model, which allows for the characterization of edema signal in diffusion measurements. We validate this model on ex vivo rat nerve data after sham surgeries on the sciatic nerve. The free water model effectively accounts for inflammation following sham surgeries, leading to increased accuracy in fractional anisotropy measurements throughout the recovery process. This model will be applied in other injury models (crush, transection/surgical repair) to test its ability to independently monitor inflammation/edema and nerve degeneration/regeneration.

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