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In vivo diffusion tensor of the optic nerve: pilot study in normal controls

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Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the optic nerve (ON) was acquiredin normal controls using zonally oblique multislice(ZOOM) DTI, which excites a small field of view (FOV) using afast sequence with a shortened EPI echo train. This combinesthe benefit of low sensitivity to motion (due to the single-shotacquisition used), with the additional advantage of reducedsensitivity to magnetic field susceptibility artifacts. Reducingthe bright signal from the fat and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)surrounding the nerve are key requirements for the success ofthe presented method. Measurements of mean diffusivity (MD)and fractional anisotropy (FA) indices were made in a coronalsection of the middle portion of the optic nerve (ON) in the right(rON) and left (lON) ONs. The average values across 10 healthyvolunteers were FArON 0.64 0.09 and FAlON 0.57 0.10,and MDrON (1173 227) 10–6 mm2 s–1 and MDlON (1266 170) 10–6 mm2 s–1. Measurements of the principal eigenvalueof the DT and its orthogonal component were also in agreementwith those expected from a highly directional structuralorganization. Magn Reson Med 56:446–451, 2006. © 2006Wiley-Liss, Inc.Key words: optic nerve; diffusion; DTI; ZOOM; nerve imaging

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