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Abstract #3564

Investigating the Benefits of Incorporating Higher Order Spherical Harmonics in Axon Diameter Measurements

Qiuyun Fan1,2, Aapo A Nummenmaa1,2, Qiyuan Tian1,2, Ned A Ohringer1,2, Thomas Witzel1,2, Lawrence L Wald1,2,3, Bruce R Rosen1,2,3, and Susie Y Huang1,2,3

1Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States

Separating out the scalar and orientation-dependent components of the diffusion MRI signal offers the possibility of increasing sensitivity to microscopic tissue features unconfounded by the fiber orientation. Recent approaches to estimating apparent axon diameter in white matter have employed spherical averaging to avoid the confounding effects of fiber crossings and dispersion at the expense of losing sensitivity to effective compartment size. Here, we investigate the feasibility and benefits of incorporating higher-order spherical harmonic (SH) components into a rotationally invariant axon diameter estimation framework and demonstrate improved precision of axon diameter estimation in the in vivo human brain.

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