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1 Department of Clinical Medicine - Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University 2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science and Technology, Aarhus University 3 Danish Research Centre for MR, Hvidovre Hospital 4 Department of Clinical Medicine - Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University
Pulsed field gradient diffusion sequences (PFG) with multiple diffusion encoding blocks have been indicated to offer new microstructural tissue information, such as the ability to detect nonspherical compartment shapes in macroscopically isotropic samples, i.e. samples with negligible directional signal dependence on diffusion gradients in standard diffusion experiments. However, current acquisition schemes are not rotationally invariant in the sense that the derived metrics depend on the orientation of the sample, and are affected by the interplay of sampling directions and compartment orientation dispersion when applied to macroscopically anisotropic systems. Here we propose a new framework, the d-PFG 5-design, to enable rotationally invariant estimation of double wave vector diffusion metrics (d-PFG). The method is based on the idea that an appropriate orientational average of the signal emulates the signal from a powder preparation of the same sample, where macroscopic anisotropy is absent by construction. Our approach exploits the theory of exact numerical integration (quadrature) of polynomials on the rotation group, and we exemplify the general procedure with a set consisting of 60 pairs of diffusion wave vectors (the d-PFG 5-design) facilitating a theoretically exact determination of the fourth order Taylor or cumulant expansion of the orientationally averaged signal. The d-PFG 5-design is evaluated with numerical simulations and ex vivo high field diffusion MRI experiments in a nonhuman primate brain. Specifically, we demonstrate rotational invariance when estimating compartment eccentricity, which we show offers new microstructural information, complementary to that of fractional anisotropy (FA) from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The imaging observations are supported by a new theoretical result, directly relating compartment eccentricity to FA of individual pores. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
N M R in Biomedicine, 2013, Vol 26, Issue 12, p. 1647-1662
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