Noninvasive Quantification of Axonal Loss in the Presence of Tissue Swelling in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Mice

Tsen Hsuan Lin, Peng Sun, Mitchell Hallman, Fay C. Hwang, Michael Wallendorf, Wilson Z. Ray, William M. Spees, Sheng Kwei Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuroimaging plays an important role in assessing axonal pathology after traumatic spinal cord injury. However, coexisting inflammation confounds imaging assessment of the severity of axonal injury. Herein, we applied diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) to quantitatively differentiate and quantify underlying pathologies in traumatic spinal cord injury at 3 days post-injury. Results reveal that DBSI was capable of detecting and differentiating axonal injury, demyelination, and inflammation-associated edema and cell infiltration in contusion-injured spinal cords. DBSI was able to detect and quantify axonal loss in the presence of white matter tract swelling. The DBSI-defined apparent axonal volume correlated with the corresponding histological markers. DBSI-derived pathological metrics could serve as neuroimaging biomarkers to differentiate and quantify coexisting white matter pathologies in spinal cord injury, providing potential surrogate outcome measures to assess spinal cord injury progression and response to therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2308-2315
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Volume36
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Keywords

  • axonal injury
  • axonal volume
  • demyelination
  • diffusion MRI
  • inflammation
  • lesion cavity
  • spinal cord injury

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