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In vivo diffusion tensor imaging of chronic spinal cord compression in rat model

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7 Author(s)
Matthew M. Cheung ; Shujuan Fan are with the Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong ; Darrell T. H. Li ; Edward S. Hui ; Shujuan Fan
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Chronic spinal cord compression induced cervical myelopathy is a common cause of spinal cord dysfunction. The exact mechanisms of underlying progressive cell death remain to be elucidated. In this study, in vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been applied to investigate the microstructural changes of white matter (WM) in this neurodegenerative disease. Compared with conventional MRI techniques, DTI is believed to be more specific to pathological changes. Radial diffusivity (lambdaperp) is higher in the ipilesional region, suggesting demyelination or axonal degradation may occur after prolonged compression. Near the epicenter of lesion, axial diffusivity (lambda//) is lower. Also, caudal-rostral asymmetry has been observed in lambda//. Feasibility of using DTI to detect microstructural changes in chronic disease has been demonstrated.

Published in:

2009 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Date of Conference:

3-6 Sept. 2009