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A simulation study investigating potential diffusion-based MRI signatures of microstrokes

Rafat Damseh, Yuankang Lu, Xuecong Lu, Cong Zhang, Paul J. Marchand, Denis Corbin, Philippe Pouliot, Farida Cheriet and Frédéric Lesage

Article (2021)

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Recent studies suggested that cerebrovascular micro-occlusions, i.e. microstokes, could lead to ischemic tissue infarctions and cognitive deficits. Due to their small size, identifying measurable biomarkers of these microvascular lesions remains a major challenge. This work aims to simulate potential MRI signatures combining arterial spin labeling (ASL) and multi-directional diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). Driving our hypothesis are recent observations demonstrating a radial reorientation of microvasculature around the micro-infarction locus during recovery in mice. Synthetic capillary beds, randomly- and radially-oriented, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiograms, acquired in the barrel cortex of mice (n = 5) before and after inducing targeted photothrombosis, were analyzed. Computational vascular graphs combined with a 3D Monte-Carlo simulator were used to characterize the magnetic resonance (MR) response, encompassing the effects of magnetic field perturbations caused by deoxyhemoglobin, and the advection and diffusion of the nuclear spins. We quantified the minimal intravoxel signal loss ratio when applying multiple gradient directions, at varying sequence parameters with and without ASL. With ASL, our results demonstrate a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the signal-ratios computed at baseline and 3 weeks after photothrombosis. The statistical power further increased (p < 0.005) using angiograms measured at week 4. Without ASL, no reliable signal change was found. We found that higher ratios, and accordingly improved significance, were achieved at lower magnetic field strengths (e.g., B0 = 3T) and shorter echo time TE (< 16 ms). Our simulations suggest that microstrokes might be characterized through ASL-DWI sequence, providing necessary insights for posterior experimental validations, and ultimately, future translational trials.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Biomarkers ; Computational biology and bioinformatics ; Engineering ; Mathematics and computing

Subjects: 1900 Biomedical engineering > 1900 Biomedical engineering
1900 Biomedical engineering > 1901 Biomedical technology
2500 Electrical and electronic engineering > 2500 Electrical and electronic engineering
2700 Information technology > 2706 Software engineering
Department: Department of Electrical Engineering
Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering
Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Operating Grant, GRSNG / NSERC
Grant number: CIHR 299166, NSERC 239876-2011
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/9296/
Journal Title: Scientific Reports (vol. 11, no. 1)
Publisher: Springer Nature
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-93503-2
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93503-2
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 11:47
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2024 02:35
Cite in APA 7: Damseh, R., Lu, Y., Lu, X., Zhang, C., Marchand, P. J., Corbin, D., Pouliot, P., Cheriet, F., & Lesage, F. (2021). A simulation study investigating potential diffusion-based MRI signatures of microstrokes. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 14229 (15 pages). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93503-2


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