Diffusion-Weighted MR Imaging (DWI)

Diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) is the gold standard to determine the age and severity of lesions in acute infarction both in clinical applications and in preclinical research. DWI can quantitatively assess the direct water movement due to diffusion and is utilized as a valuable tool in disease models closely related to altered tissue water environment such as stroke and traumatic brain injury. Additionally, DWI is used to monitor therapeutic response in brain tumors.

Diffusion Tension MRI

Diffusion tensor imaging provides access to study brain white matter tracts. The contrast is created by restricted water diffusion along axonal tracks. Water diffusion is anisotropic in highly organized cellular structures. By utilizing this property, we are able to quantitatively characterize white matter integrity in rodent brains. Quantitative parameters include fractional anisotropy, and radial, axial, and mean diffusivity. Diffusion tensor imaging is used to study demyelination in specific models, including the cuprizone mouse model and the LPC rate model of multiple sclerosis.

4-segment spin-echo diffusion tensor imaging of a lesion induced by unilateral injection of lysophospatidylcholine (LPC) into the corpus callosum
Figure 1: Fractional anisotropy map of 4-segment spin-echo diffusion tensor imaging of a lesion induced by unilateral injection of lysophospatidylcholine (LPC) into the corpus callosum