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Phase Difference-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging (PADRE) Technique for the Detection of Age-Related Microstructural Changes in Optic Radiation: Comparison with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

Yasuko Tatewaki, Tatsushi Mutoh, Benjamin Thyreau, Kazuko Omodaka, Takaki Murata, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Toru Nakazawa, Yasuyuki Taki

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology, Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5495-5503

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905571

Available online:

Published: 2017-11-19

BACKGROUND: The optic radiation (OR) is a white-matter bundle connecting the lateral geniculate body and the visual cortex. Phase difference-enhanced imaging (PADRE) is a new MRI technique that is able to achieve precise delineation of the OR. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of age on the volume and signal intensity of the OR using PADRE, and to establish a volumetric reference of the OR from a healthy population, compared with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-nine healthy volunteers underwent MR imaging with PADRE and DTI sequences on a 3.0-T scanner. For the volumetric analysis with PADRE, the OR corresponding to the external sagittal stratum was manually traced, while an automated thresholding method was used for the DTI-based volumetric analysis of the OR.
RESULTS: The mean right and left OR volumes measured from the PADRE images were 1469.0±242.4 mm³ and 1372.6±310.2 mm³, respectively. Although OR volume showed no significant correlation with age, the normalized OR signal intensity showed a linear correlation with increasing age (r²=0.50–0.53; P<0.01). The OR signal intensity on PADRE and DTI-related quantitative parameters for the OR showed significant correlations (r²=0.46–0.49; P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The PADRE technique revealed exceptional preservation of OR volume, even in later life. Moreover, PADRE was able to detect age-related changes in signal intensity of the OR and may contribute to future analyses of pathological neurodegeneration in patients with glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: Age Distribution, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Visual Pathways