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Diffusion Imaging in Gray Matter 

Diffusion Imaging in Gray Matter
Diffusion Imaging in Gray Matter

Helen D’Arceuil

and Alex de Crespigny

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date: 17 January 2020

This chapter presents the current status of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the cerebral cortex with emphasis on high resolution DTI of the chemically fixed, excised cortex. The layered structure of the human (adult and neonatal) and animal cortices is briefly introduced and the challenges of performing in vivo DTI measurements of the cortex are discussed. Following this there is a short introduction to the current status of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) of the developing human and animal cortices. The chapter then move on to detail the technical aspects of sample preparation and high resolution imaging of fixed cortical tissue. Next it shows some images of the cortical layering structure that is apparent using high resolution DTI in excised human brain sections and the tensor properties of the various cortical layers followed by DTI tractography within the cortex. Some attention is devoted to DTI of cortical pathology and its depiction of cortical migrational anomalies. A brief discussion of the possibility of performing high resolution DTI in vivo concludes the DTI section and the chapter presents an example of an in vivo 1 mm isotropic scan in normal human brain; subsequently the use of higher angular resolution diffusion techniques are considered. The chapter concludes with a synopsis of the current and potential usefulness of diffusion imaging of the cortex.

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