Diffusion Tensor MR Imaging

Thomas L. Chenevert1, Robert C. Welsh1

1 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Unit Number:  Unit B8.1
DOI:  10.1002/0471142719.mib0801s12
Online Posting Date:  July, 2004
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Abstract

This unit reviews the physical principles and methodologies involved in diffusion‐weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for clinical applications. Diffusion‐sensitive MRI noninvasively provides insight into processes and microscopic cellular structures that alter molecular water mobility. Formalism to extend the Bloch equation to include effects of random translational motion through field gradients is reviewed. Definition of key acquisition parameters is also reviewed along with common methods to calculate and display tissue diffusion properties in a variety of image formats. Characterization of potential directional‐dependence of diffusion (i.e., anisotropy), such as that which exists in white matter, requires DTI. Diffusion tensor formalism and measurement techniques then reduce the diffusion tensor into standard anisotropy quantities that are summarized along with commonly used methods to depict directional information in an image format.

Keywords: Diffusion MRI; Anisotropy; Tensor; Methods

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Technical Discussion
  • Key References
  • Figures
     
 
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Materials

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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Key References
   Basser, P.J. and Jones, D.K. 2002. Diffusion‐tensor MRI: Theory, experimental design and data analysis—a technical review. NMR Biomed. 15:468‐480.
  An excellent review of diffusion MRI tensor mathematics and terminology.
   Basser, P.J., Pajevic, S., Pierpaoli, C., Duda, J., and Aldroubi, A. 2000. In vivo fiber tractography using DT‐MRI data. Magn. Reson. Med. 44:625‐632.
  Introduces fiber tracing concepts.
   Le Bihan, D., Breton, E., Lallemand, D., Aubin, M.L., Vignaud, J., and Laval‐Jeantet, M. 1988. Separation of diffusion and perfusion in intravoxel incoherent motion MR imaging. Radiology. 168:497‐505.
  This text is recognized as the initial clinical use of DWI.
   Mori, S. and van Zijl, P.C. 2002. Fiber tracking: Principles and strategies—a technical review. NMR Biomed. 15:468‐480.
  An excellent review of fiber tracking approaches.
   Moseley, M.E., Kucharczyk, J., Asgari, H.S., and Norman, D. 1991. Anisotropy in diffusion‐weighted MRI. Magn. Reson. Med. 19:321‐326.
  An early demonstration of anisotropic diffusion in neural tissues in vivo.
   Pierpaoli, C., Jezzard, P., Basser, P.J., Barnett, A., and Di Chiro, G. 1996. Diffusion tensor MR imaging of the human brain. Radiology 201:637‐648.
  Summarizes the initial application of diffusion tensor techniques to the normal human brain.
   Stejskal, E.O. 1965. Spin diffusion measurements: Spin echoes in the presence of time‐dependent field gradient. J. Chem. Phys. 42:288‐292.
  This classic article adds formalism and observation of diffusion effects in spin‐echo NMR experiments.
   Torrey, H. 1956. Bloch equations with diffusion terms. Phys. Rev. 104:563‐565.
  This text introduced the formalism of spin diffusion to the Bloch equations.
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