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Abstract #3596

Decoupling effects of fiber dispersion and microscopic anisotropy fundamentally change interpretations of DTI in multiple sclerosis

Kasper Winther Andersen1, Samo Lasič1,2, Henrik Lundell1, Markus Nilsson3, Daniel Topgaard4, Filip Szczepankiewicz5,6,7, Hartwig Roman Siebner1,8,9, Morten Blinkenberg10, and Tim B Dyrby1,11

1Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Hvidovre, Denmark, 2Random Walk Imaging, AB, Lund, Sweden, 3Clinical Sciences, Lund, Department of Radiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 4Division of Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 5Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 6Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 7Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, United States, 8Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 9Department of Neurology, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, Copenhagen, Denmark, 10Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, 11DTU Compute, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Fractional anisotropy from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI-FA) has frequently been used to probe changes in white matter microstructure, but is also heavily affected by axonal fiber dispersion. μFA removes fiber dispersion effects and thereby estimates the microscopic anisotropy. Here, we found lower μFA in normal appearing white matter in multiple sclerosis patients as compared with healthy controls. In addition, μFA correlated significantly with age, disability and cognitive performance. These relations could not be established with DTI-FA. Our results indicate that μFA could be used as a powerful biomarker for diseases related to micro-structural changes in white matter as well as in studies of the healthy brain.

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