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Abstract #1247

Probabilistic structural atlas of human lateral parabrachial nucleus, medial parabrachial nucleus and vestibular nuclei complex using in vivo 7 Tesla MRI.

Kavita Singh1, Iole Indovina2,3, Jeffrey P Staab4,5, and Marta Bianciardi1

1Brainstem Imaging Lab, Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, United States, 2Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy, 3Centre of Space BioMedicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, 4Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States, 5Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

Parabrachial and vestibular nuclei are anatomically and functionally connected brainstem gray-matter structures involved in autonomic and vestibular functions. Their assessment in research and clinical investigations is difficult due to limited image-resolution/contrast of clinical scanners and the absence of probabilistic atlas of these structures. We delineated these nuclei in single-subject multi-contrast 1.1mm-resolution 7Tesla MRI of healthy humans and generated a validated in-vivo probabilistic atlas of these nuclei in stereotaxic space. Upon coregistration to clinical-MRI, this atlas might improve the evaluation of lesions and assessment of connectivity-pathways underlying autonomic and vestibular mechanisms in a broad-set of clinical conditions relating to these nuclei.

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