Diagnosing Neuropathy Early with QUTE-CE MRI

Presenter: Codi Gharagouzloo

Research Category: Interdisciplinary Topics, Centers and Institutes
Student Type: Graduate
PI: Srinivas Sridhar
Award: Entrepreneurship
Award Winner Category: Interdisciplinary Topics

Motivation: The physiological trademark of Neuropathy is vascular abnormality, however. we are currently incapable of detecting such changes in the brain. Thus, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease are only detected after the onset of debilitating symptoms. We are developing a method for early detection of these disease indications so that people can be treated in the early stages of disease progression. We aim at the market for preventative and diagnostic care by establishing a new test neuropathic prognosis.

Problem statement:  Currently, dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI is the gold standard for measuring cerebral blood volume (CBV) values. However, this method requires accurate determination of the arterial input function (AIF), which is typically 15-30% inaccurate. Thus, there is an obvious need for an accurate and robust measure of cerebral vascularity.

Approach: We have developed a new technique, Quantitative Ultra-short TE Contrast-Enhanced (QUTE-CE) MRI, that utilizes the UTE sequences with SPIONs and leads to vascular images with unprecedented clarity and definition. The ultra-short TE (10-100us)limits susceptibility dependent signal dephasing and is insensitive to blood flow. We quantify the signal to CBV through established MR equations.

Results: This results in ‘3D snapshots’ of the vasculature that are independent of flow velocity, arterial or venous systems, or vessel orientation.

Conclusions: This novel methodology has been designed to be immediately translational to the clinic. We expect enhanced performance with clinical machines because of the superior magnetic properties of ferumoxytol at lower field strength and the availability of multi-channel coils.