The apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) of a series of markers concentrated in the extracellular space of normal rat brain were measured to evaluate, by inference, the ADC of water in the extracellular space. The markers (mannitol, phenylphosphonate, and polyethylene glycols) are defined as "compartment selective" because tissue culture experiments demonstrate some leakage into the intracellular space, making them less "compartment specific" than commonly believed. These primarily extracellular markers have ADCs similar to those of intracellular metabolites of comparable hydrodynamic radius, suggesting that water ADC values in the intra- and extracellular spaces are similar. If this is the case, then it is unlikely that a net shift of water from the extra- to the intracellular space contributes significantly to the reduction in water ADC detected following brain injury. Rather, this reduction is more likely due primarily to a reduction of the ADC of intracellular water associated with injury.
- Extracellular space