High Resolution 3D Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging of Whole Rat Brain
Kelm, Nathaniel David
This thesis involves the development of an overnight high-resolution 3D diffusion kurtosis imaging protocol for ex vivo whole rat brain imaging. MRI acquisition parameters were optimized in order to obtain high-resolution, high-precision diffusion kurtosis imaging data. This included the programming and development of a 3D diffusion-weighted fast spin-echo pulse sequence. Image data from ex vivo rat brains were collected to verify the efficacy of the imaging protocol. Values of diffusion kurtosis parameters in normal rat brains were similar to those reported in previous imaging studies. Using this protocol, preliminary data were collected from a model of schizophrenia in rats. These data indicated the ability of the protocol to detect changes in diffusion kurtosis parameters that could correlate to changes in white matter microstructure.