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Abstract #3539

A microstructure fingerprinting approach with heterogeneous axon diameters: validation on feline spinal cord

Gaëtan Rensonnet1,2, David Romascano2, Benoit Scherrer3, Simon K Warfield3, Benoit Macq1, Jean-Philippe Thiran2,4, and Maxime Taquet3

1ICTEAM, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 2Signal Processing Lab (LTS5), Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 3Computational Radiology Laboratory, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 4Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland

A microstructure fingerprinting approach is proposed in which an optimal single-fascicle configuration is selected from a pre-computed collection of Monte Carlo diffusion signals, or fingerprints, uniquely relating the diffusion MRI signals to the underlying axon properties. The simulated 3D geometries feature randomly-placed cylinders with diameter heterogeneity. The approach is validated on a public dataset of ex vivo cat spinal cord and exhibits indices of axon density and of the mean and standard deviation of the axon diameter distribution in agreement with histological measurements. The method is shown to outperform AMICO, which relies on approximate analytical expressions for the signal, and a simpler model using Monte Carlo simulations in a homogeneous packing of identical cylinders.

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