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Abstract #3293

Axonal Damage in the Optic Radiation Detected by Advanced Diffusion MR Metrics is Associated with Retinal Thinning in Multiple Sclerosis

Chanon Ngamsombat1,2, Qiyuan Tian1, Qiuyun Fan1, Andrew William Russo3, Thomas Witzel1, Lawrence Leroy Wald1, Eric Klawiter3, and Susie Huang1

1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital / Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Boston, MA, United States, 2Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, 3Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Axonal damage diffusely involves the retina, optic nerve, and optic pathway in MS but lacks a specific imaging biomarker. We investigated the presence of alterations in advanced diffusion MRI metrics derived from WMTI and NODDI in the optic radiation (OR) in MS. We found a significant association between thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer measured by OCT and reduction in axonal water fraction and intracellular water fraction in the OR as measured by WMTI and NODDI. Our results support the idea that axonal damage is widespread throughout the visual pathway in MS and may be mediated through trans-synaptic degeneration.

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