Simultaneous T2/diffusion estimation: do we need a diffusion time dependent diffusion model?

Publication Type:

Conference Abstract


10th Annual Meeting of the ISMRM Benelux Chapter, Antwerp, Belgium (2018)


Joint estimation of the transverse relaxation (T2) and the diffusion tensor allows for probing white matter integrity in a more efficient way compared to estimating these parameters from sequential relaxometry and diffusion imaging protocols. For simultaneous estimation of diffusion and relaxation parameters, short echo times are needed and, as a consequence, short diffusion times. Therefore we need a flexible diffusion model that accounts for diffusion time dependence. Currently used diffusion models do not account for this dependence. An acknowledged model describing the properties of diffusion in coherently oriented fiber populations is the diffusion tensor. Alternative models are proposed, which allow to resolve multiple fiber directions, such as multiple tensor fitting and estimation of the fiber orientation distribution function using high angular resolution data acquisition. When the diffusion time is kept short enough, the diffusion behavior reflects that of free diffusion, meaning that the diffusion tensor is isotropic. With increasing diffusion time, diffusion is hindered by extracellular and intracellular components and the diffusion tensor evolves towards an ellipsoid. To the authors’ knowledge there is no model available to correct for diffusion time dependence in clinically short range diffusion times, allowing joint estimation of relaxation and diffusion properties. This work provides an overview of the state-of-the-art and challenges of diffusion time dependent diffusion modeling.