Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Diffusion-prepared fast spin echo for artifact-free spinal cord imaging. Magn Reson Med 2021 Aug;86(2):984-994



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID



PURPOSE: Diffusion MRI provides unique contrast important for the detection and examination of pathophysiology after acute neurologic insults, including spinal cord injury. Diffusion weighted imaging of the rodent spinal cord has typically been evaluated with axial EPI readout. However, Diffusion weighted imaging is prone to motion artifacts, whereas EPI is prone to susceptibility artifacts. In the context of acute spinal cord injury, diffusion filtering has previously been shown to improve detection of injury by minimizing the confounding effects of edema. We propose a diffusion-preparation module combined with a rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement readout to minimize artifacts for sagittal imaging.

METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats with cervical contusion spinal cord injury were scanned at 9.4 Tesla. The sequence optimization included the evaluation of motion-compensated encoding diffusion gradients, gating strategy, and different spinal cord-specific diffusion-weighting schemes.

RESULTS: A diffusion-prepared rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement achieved high-quality images free from susceptibility artifacts with both second-order motion-compensated encoding and gating necessary for reduction of motion artifacts. Axial diffusivity obtained from the filtered diffusion-encoding scheme had greater lesion-to-healthy tissue contrast (52%) compared to the similar metric from DTI (25%).

CONCLUSION: This work demonstrated the feasibility of high-quality diffusion sagittal imaging in the rodent cervical cord with diffusion-prepared relaxation enhancement. The sequence and results are expected to improve injury detection and evaluation in acute spinal cord injury.

Author List

Lee SY, Meyer BP, Kurpad SN, Budde MD


Matthew Budde PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Shekar N. Kurpad MD, PhD Chair, Director, Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Echo-Planar Imaging
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Spinal Cord