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On the Origins of Diffusion MRI Signal Changes in Stroke

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DOI

  • Stephen J. Blackband, University of Florida, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, United States
  • Jeremy Flint, University of Florida, United States
  • Brian Hansen
  • Timothy M. Shepherd, New York University School of Medicine, United States
  • Choong Heon-Lee, New York University School of Medicine, United States
  • Wolfgang J. Streit, University of Florida
  • ,
  • John Forder, University of Florida, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, United States

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a leading diagnostic technique especially for neurological studies. However, the physical origin of the hyperintense signal seen in MR images of stroke immediately after ischemic onset in the brain has been a matter of debate since it was first demonstrated in 1990. In this article, we hypothesize and provide evidence that changes in the glial cells, comprising roughly one-half of the brain's cells and therefore a significant share of its volume, accompanying ischemia, are the root cause of the MRI signal change. Indeed, a primary function of the glial cells is osmoregulation in order to maintain homeostasis in the neurons and nerve fibers for accurate and consistent function. This realization also impacts our understanding of signal changes in other tissues following ischemia. We anticipate that this paradigm shift will facilitate new and improved models of MRI signals in tissues, which will, in turn, impact clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number549
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume11
Number of pages7
ISSN1664-2295
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • diffusion, glial cells, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, magnetic resonance (MR) microscopy, stroke

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