AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging

by Jennifer Campbell

Institution: McGill University
Department: Department of Medical Radiation Physics.
Degree: MS
Year: 2000
Keywords: Health Sciences, Radiology.; Biophysics, Medical.
Record ID: 1707024
Full text PDF: http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile30809.pdf


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to image diffusion in liquids, such as water in brain structures. Molecular diffusion can be isotropic or anisotropic, depending on the fluid's environment, and can therefore be characterized by a scalar, D, or by a tensor, D, in the respective cases. For anisotropic environments, the eigenvector of D corresponding to the largest eigenvalue indicates the preferred direction of diffusion. This thesis describes the design and implementation of diffusion tensor imaging on a clinical MRI system. An acquisition sequence was designed and post-processing software developed to create diffusion trace images, scalar anisotropy maps, and anisotropy vector maps. A number of practical imaging problems were addressed and solved, including optimization of sequence parameters, accounting for flow effects, and dealing with eddy currents, patient motion, and ghosting. Experimental validation of the sequence was performed by calculating the trace of the diffusion tensor measured in various isotropic liquids. The results agreed very well with the quantitative values found in the literature, and the scalar anisotropy index was also found to be correct in isotropic phantoms. Anisotropy maps, showing the preferred direction of diffusion, were generated in human brain in vivo. These showed the expected white matter tracts in the corpus callosum.