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Abstract #0378

Diffusion of brain metabolites highlights altered brain microstructure in chronic hepatic encephalopathy

Cristina Cudalbu1, Katarzyna Pierzchala1,2,3, Dunja Simicic1,2, Graham Knott4, Stephanie Clerc-Rosset4, Bernard Lanz2, and Ileana Jelescu1
1Centre d'Imagerie Biomedicale, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2Laboratory for functional and metabolic imaging, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 3Service of Clinical Chemistry, University of Lausanne and University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 4Biological Electron Microscopy Facility, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

In chronic hepatic encephalopathy (HE), high ammonium delivery to the brain is causing the accumulation of glutamine (Gln) and gradual release of other osmolytes. We aimed to follow the longitudinal evolution of brain Gln and other metabolite properties in chronic-HE using diffusion-weighted spectroscopy (DW-MRS) and evaluate the potential changes in diffusion behavior which might provide information on Gln localization and potential microstructural alterations during chronic-HE. Increased diffusivity and reduced kurtosis in BDL rats, showcased by DW-MRS analysis, are fully consistent with a less complex microstructure and swollen soma as highlighted by fluorescence and electron microscopy leading to increased molecule mobility.

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