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Abstract #0162

Mapping of fibre-specific relaxation and diffusivities in heterogeneous brain tissue

João P. de Almeida Martins1,2, Chantal M. W. Tax3, Sarah E. Mailhiot1, Filip Szczepankiewicz2,4,5, Maxime Chamberland3, Carl-Fredrik Westin4,5, Derek K. Jones3, and Daniel Topgaard1,2

1Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 2Random Walk Imaging AB, Lund, Sweden, 3Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 4Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 5Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, United States

While diffusion MRI tractography has provided important insights on the human brain connectome, fibre-tracking through heterogeneous voxels has proven to be a challenging endeavour. Recently, we devised MRI acquisition- and processing methods to resolve sub-voxel heterogeneity with nonparametric 5D relaxation-diffusion distributions where contributions from distinct tissues are separated while circumventing the use of limiting assumptions. The separation between tissue-signals provides a clean mapping of nerve fibres that can then be used as an input in fibre-tracking algorithms. Additionally, values of relaxation rates and diffusivities are estimated for each distinct fibre bundle, potentially giving tract-specific information on chemical composition and microstructure.

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