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Abstract #0646

SPHERIOUSLY? The challenges of estimating spherical pore size non-invasively in the human brain from diffusion MRI

Maryam Afzali1, Markus Nilsson2, Marco Palombo3, and Derek K Jones1
1Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 2Clinical Sciences Lund, Radiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 3Centre for Medical Image Computing, Department of Computer Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Soma and Neurite Density Imaging (SANDI) was recently proposed to disentangle cylindrical and spherical geometries, attributed to neurite and soma compartments. In this work, using: (i) ultra-strong gradients; (ii) a combination of linear, planar, and spherical b-tensor encodings; and (iii) analysing the signal in the frequency domain, three main challenges were identified; First, the Rician noise floor biases estimation of soma properties. Second there is an empirical lower bound on the spherical signal fraction and pore-size. Third, if there is sensitivity to the transverse intra-cellular diffusivity in cylindrical structures, estimation of spherical pore-size is challenging.

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