Assessing white matter maturation and integrity in children using multi-component 3D-MR Fingerprinting and diffusion imaging
Marta Lancione1,2, Matteo Cencini1,2, Elena Scaffei1,3, Emilio Cipriano1,4, Guido Buonincontri1, Chiara Ticci1, Rosa Pasquariello1, Roberta Battini1,5, Raffaello Canapicchi1, Laura Biagi1,2, Michela Tosetti1,2, and Italian DEvelopmental Age Health Network (IDEA)6
1IRCCS Stella Maris, Pisa, Italy, 2Imago7 Research Foundation, Pisa, Italy, 3Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, Neurofarba, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, 4Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 5Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, 6Italian DEvelopmental Age Health Network (RETE IDEA Ministry of Health), Rome, Italy
New biomarkers for myelination could improve the understanding of neurodevelopmental diseases and their diagnosis and treatment. We quantified Myelin Water Fraction (MWF) using MRF in a cohort of children with leukoencephalopathies and age-matched controls and we compared it to DTI-based FA. We obtained normative curves of white matter development with both techniques. MWF discriminated between controls and patients with higher sensitivity than FA, it was more myelin-specific and independent of the degree of axonal packing. Thanks to short scan time and simultaneous acquisition of other quantitative maps, MRF-based MWF may represent a valuable tool to study developmental disorders.
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