Researchers at MUSC have invented a novel double pulsed diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) technique, which is referred to as double pulsed diffusional kurtosis imaging (DP-DKI). The technique is essentially an extension of conventional (single-pulsed) DKI to double pulsed field gradient (d-PFG) sequences. This technique leads to a more efficient and practical double pulsed dMRI method that should substantially increase the potential for applications to the clinical assessment of disease by allowing for the quantification of the non-Gaussian diffusion of water within the brain to help characterize tissue microstructure.
Overview: dMRI is one of the primary quantitative MRI methodologies, with a unique ability to characterize tissue microstructure by using single pulse field (s-PFG) diffusion sequences. This method is currently widely used in research applications, particularly investigating neuropathologies. dMRI is clinically the gold standard for the diagnosis of ischemic stroke, and the ability to map white fiber bundles is useful for planning neurosurgical interventions. While s-PFG diffusions sequences are the easiest to implement, they are intrinsically unable to fully characterize certain aspects of tissue microstructure, particularly with regard the microscopic anisotropy which is a salient feature of gray matter. To overcome this limitation, d-PFG sequences have been developed, however, established double pulsed dMRI approaches have largely proven impractical for human imaging due to long acquisition times, which significantly lowers the signal-to-noise ratio. The DP-DKI approach keeps the image acquisition time to a minimum and therefore allows for better signal averaging.
Applications: Clinical assessment of neurological disease, neurological research
Advantages: Quantification of tissue microstructure
Key Words: MRI, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI), double pulsed field, neurology
Publication: Jensen, Jens H., Edward S. Hui, and Joseph A. Helpern. "