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Characterization of the cortical myeloarchitecture with inhomogeneous magnetization transfer imaging (ihMT)

Abstract : Background: Myelin specific imaging techniques to characterize white matter in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) have become an area of increasing focus. Gray matter myelination is an important marker of cortical microstructure, and its impairment is relevant in progressive MS. However, its assessment is challenging due to its thin layers. While myelin water imaging and ultra-short TE imaging have not yet been implemented to assess cortical myeloarchitecture, magnetization transfer (MT) shows promise. A recent development of the MT technique, ihMT, has demonstrated greater myelin sensitivity/specificity. Here we implemented a 3D ihMT acquisition and analysis to characterize cortical gray matter myeloarchitecture. Methods: 20 young healthy volunteers were imaged with a 3D ihMTRAGE sequence and quantitative metrics of ihMT (ihMTsat), and dual frequency-offset MT (dual MTsat) were calculated. Cortical surface-based analysis of ihMTsat and dual MTsat were performed and compared. We also compared the cortical ihMTsat map to a cortical surface-based map of T 1-weighted images (T 1 w), defined as a proxy of myelin content. Results: Cortical ihMTsat and dual MTsat maps were in qualitative agreement with previous work and the cortical T 1 w map, showing higher values in primary cortices and lower values in the insula. IhMTsat and dual MTsat were significantly correlated but with important regional differences. The ratio ihMTsat/dual MTsat highlighted higher ihMTsat values in the primary cortices and sulci. Conclusion: ihMTsat, a quantitative metric of ihMT, can be reliably measured in cortical gray matter and shows unique contrast between cortical regions.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 2, 2020 - 11:01:03 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - 3:22:43 AM

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Fanny Munsch, Gopal Varma, Manuel Taso, Olivier M. Girard, Arnaud Guidon, et al.. Characterization of the cortical myeloarchitecture with inhomogeneous magnetization transfer imaging (ihMT). NeuroImage, Elsevier, 2021, 225, pp.117442. ⟨10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117442⟩. ⟨hal-02985429⟩

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