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Abstract #2876

Structural Assessment of Injured Spinal Cord Using the Spherical Mean Technique and Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Feng Wang1,2, Junzhong Xu1,2, Tung-Lin Wu1,3, Pai-Feng Yang1,2, Nellie E. Byun1, Li Min Chen1,2, and John C. Gore1,2,3

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

High-resolution spherical mean technique (SMT) MRI may provide specific diffusion measures to detect and characterize structural connectivity before and after spinal cord injury and during repair. This study aims to systematically evaluate the SMT-derived diffusion parameters and compare them to conventional DTI-derived diffusion parameters in assessing injury-associated changes in spinal cords of squirrel monkeys. The main goal is to optimize a rapid and robust high-resolution SMT imaging protocol for spinal cord of monkeys at high field. In addition, the sensitivity of SMT and DTI measures in detecting axonal damage in the dorsal pathway has been evaluated.

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