Focal reversible deactivation of cerebral metabolism affects water diffusion

Athinoula A Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.4). 11/2008; 60(5):1178-89. DOI: 10.1002/mrm.21810
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The underlying biophysical mechanisms which affect cerebral diffusion contrast remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that cerebral metabolism may affect cerebral diffusion contrast. The purpose of this study was to develop the methodology to reversibly deactivate cerebral metabolism and measure the effect on the diffusion MRI signal. We developed an MRI-compatible cortical cooling system to reversibly deactivate cortical metabolism in rhesus monkey area V1 and used MR thermometry to calculate three-dimensional temperature maps of the brain to define the extent of deactivated brain in vivo. Significant changes in the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were only observed during those experiments in which the cortex was cooled below the metabolic cutoff temperature of 20 degrees C. ADC decreases (12-20%) were observed during cortical cooling in regions where the temperature did not change. The normalized in vivo ADC as function of temperature was measured and found to be equivalent to the normalized ADC of free water at temperatures above 20 degrees C, but was significantly decreased below 20 degrees C (20-25% decrease). No changes in fractional anisotropy were observed. In future experiments, we will apply this methodology to quantify the effect of reversible deactivation on neural activity as measured by the hemodynamic response and compare water diffusion changes with hemodynamic changes.

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