ESPE Abstracts (2018) 89 S9.2

Novel CNS Imaging Techniques

Maria Argyropoulou

Department of Radiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Novel CNS imaging techniques is a fast advancing field with frequent new developments in scanner’s hardware, protocols, clinical indications, and post-processing techniques. These techniques are designed to focus on the assessment of functional tissue characteristics, such as neuronal activity (functional MRI- fMRI), microstructural properties (diffusion tensor imaging-DTI) and tissue perfusion (DSC perfusion, ASL). fMRI reveals brain activation during performance of behavioral tasks, based on the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) MRI signal, which is modulated by neural activity via a process of neurovascular coupling. Resting-state fMRI can be performed and correlates brain areas with similar spontaneous fluctuations in the BOLD signal — thereby enabling estimates of ‘functional connectivity’. DTI evaluates brain microstructure and quantifies integrity through metrics such as apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA). ‘Structural connectivity’ is based on white matter tracts that can be depicted and assessed with tractography. Perfusion MR imaging methods detect signal changes that accompany the passage of a tracer through the cerebrovascular system. A less invasive approach is arterial spin labeling (ASL) that uses arterial water as an endogenous tracer to measure CBF. MR perfusion is applied in the evaluation of brain tumors, neurological diseases and developmental disorders. Clinical applications of novel CNS imaging techniques are expected to expand greatly in the future due to the increasing availability as well as the continuous advancements in the field of research.

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