Microstructural correlates of 3D steady-state inhomogeneous magnetization transfer (ihMT) in the human brain white matter assessed by myelin water imaging and diffusion tensor imaging

Ece Ercan, Gopal Varma, Burkhard Mädler, Ivan E. Dimitrov, Marco Da Cunha Pinho, Yin Xi, Benjamin C. Wagner, Elizabeth M. Davenport, Joseph A Maldjian, David C. Alsop, Robert E Lenkinski, Elena Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To compare the recently introduced inhomogeneous magnetization transfer (ihMT) technique with more established MRI techniques including myelin water imaging (MWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and to evaluate the microstructural attributes correlating with this new contrast method in the human brain white matter. Methods: Eight adult healthy volunteers underwent T1-weighted, ihMT, MWI, and DTI imaging on a 3T human scanner. The ihMT ratio (ihMTR), myelin water fraction (MWF), fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity (AD), and mean diffusivity (MD) values were calculated from different white matter tracts. The angle (θ) between the directions of the principal eigenvector, as measured by DTI, and the main magnetic field was calculated for all voxels from various fiber tracts. The ihMTR was correlated with MWF and DTI metrics. Results: A strong correlation was found between ihMTR and MWF (ρ = 0.77, P < 0.0001). This was followed by moderate to weak correlations between ihMTR and DTI metrics: RD (ρ = −0.30, P < 0.0001), FA (ρ = 0.20, P < 0.0001), MD (ρ = −0.19, P < 0.0001), AD (ρ = 0.02, P < 0.0001). A strong correlation was found between ihMTR and MWF (ρ = −0.541, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: The strong correlation with myelin water imaging and its low coefficient of variation suggest that ihMT has the potential to become a new structural imaging marker of myelin. The substantial orientational dependence of ihMT should be taken into account when evaluating and quantitatively interpreting ihMT results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2402-2414
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Volume80
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • DTI
  • ihMT
  • MWI
  • myelin imaging
  • white matter microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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