The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) is analyzed for the case of oscillating diffusion-sensitizing gradients in the high-frequency regime. We provide a concise derivation of the analytical expression for the ADC for an arbitrary number of gradient oscillations N and initial phase φ. It is demonstrated that an ultimate goal – to determine the surface-to-volume ratio (S/V) from MR measurements by using oscillating gradients – can be achieved with cosine-type gradients (φ = 0) for an arbitrary N. However, to determine S/V employing gradients with φ ≠ 0 (including the sine-type gradients) and arbitrary N additionally requires prior knowledge of the time-dependent diffusion coefficient D(t). The latter is rarely known a priori but can be estimated under certain limiting conditions: (i) in the short time regime, when the total diffusion time of the measurements, t, is smaller than the characteristic diffusion time of the microstructural system of interest, an analytical expression for D(t) is available (Mitra's expression) and this allows S/V to be determined in the short time regime with sine-type gradients; (ii) in the important case of purely restricted diffusion, D(t) → 0 at sufficiently long time, the signal becomes independent of φ and behaves as for the cosine-type gradients, thus, allowing determination of S/V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • ADC
  • Diffusion
  • MRI
  • Oscillating gradients

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