Effects of permeable boundaries on the diffusion-attenuated MR signal: Insights from a one-dimensional model

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Abstract

The local magnetization distribution M(x,t) and the net MR signal S arising from a one-dimensional periodic structure with permeable barriers in a Tanner-Stejskal pulsed-field gradient experiment are considered. In the framework of the narrow pulse approximation, the general expressions for M(x,t) and S as functions of diffusion time and the bipolar field gradient strength are obtained and analyzed. In contrast to a system with impermeable boundaries, the signal S as a function of the b-value is modeled well as a bi-exponential decay not only in the short-time regime but also in the long-time regime. At short diffusion times, the local magnetization M(x,t) is strongly spatially inhomogeneous and the two exponential components describing S have a clear physical interpretation as two "population fractions" of the slow- and fast-diffusing quasi-compartments (pools). In the long-diffusion time regime, the two exponential components do not have clear physical meaning but rather serve to approximate a more complex functional signal form. The average diffusion propagator, obtained by means of standard q-space analysis procedures in the long-diffusion time regime is explored; its structure creates the deceiving appearance of a system with multiple compartments of different sizes, while in reality, it reflects the permeable nature of boundaries in a system with multiple compartments all of the same size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Volume170
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion MRI
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Membrane permeability
  • q-Space imaging

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