Development of high spatial resolution acquisition methods for diffusion MRI

Abstract : Diffusion MRI (dMRI) is the unique non-invasive technique that allows exploring the cerebral microstructure. Besides a wide use for medical applications, dMRI is also employed in neuroscience to understand the brain organization and connectivity. However, the low spatial resolution and the sensitivity to artefacts limit its application to non-human primates.This work aims to develop a new approach that allows to acquire dMRI at very high spatial resolution on anesthetized macaque brains. This method is based on a 3D sampling of Fourier space with a segmented Echo Planar imaging readout module. This method has been firstly implemented on a 3 Tesla MR scanner (Prisma, Siemens), validated and optimized in-vitro and in-vivo. Compared to the conventional acquisition method, a gain of sensitivity of 3 for the cerebral grey matter and of 4.7 for the white matter was obtained with the proposed approach.This method allowed us to acquire dMRI data on the macaque brain with a spatial isotropic resolution of 0.5 mm ever reached before. The interest to acquire dMRI data with such a spatial resolution to visualize and analyze in-vivo fine structures not detectable with the classical acquisition method, like the sub-fields of hippocampus and the superficial white matter, has also illustrated in this study. Finally, very encouraging preliminary results were also obtained in humans
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Slimane Tounekti. Development of high spatial resolution acquisition methods for diffusion MRI. Medical Imaging. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1008⟩. ⟨tel-02269389⟩

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