Quantitative MRI and DTI Abnormalities during the Acute Period Following CCI in the Ferret

Elizabeth B. Hutchinson, Susan C. Schwerin, Kryslaine L. Radomski, Mustafa O. Irfanoglu, Sharon L. Juliano, Carlo M. Pierpaoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


During the acute time period following traumatic brain injury (TBI), noninvasive brain imaging tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide important information about the clinical and pathological features of the injury and may help predict long-term outcomes. In addition to standard imaging approaches, several quantitative MRI techniques including relaxometry and diffusion MRI have been identified as promising reporters of cellular alterations after TBI and may provide greater sensitivity and specificity for identifying brain abnormalities especially in mild TBI. However, for these imaging tools to be useful, it is crucial to define their relationship with the neurophysiological response to brain injury. Recently, a model of controlled cortical impact (CCI) has been developed in the ferret which has many advantages compared with rodent models (e.g., gyrencephalic cortex and high white matter volume). The objective of this study was to evaluate quantitative MRI metrics in the ferret CCI model, including T2 values and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics, during the acute time period. Longitudinal quantitative comparisons of in vivo MRI and DTI metrics were evaluated to identify abnormalities and characterize their spatial patterns in the ferret brain. Ex vivo MRI and DTI maps were then compared with histological staining for glial and neuronal abnormalities. The main findings of this article describe T2, diffusivity, and anisotropy markers of tissue change during the acute time period following mild TBI, and ex vivo analyses suggest that MRI and DTI markers are sensitive to subtle cellular alterations in this model. This was confirmed by comparison with immunohistochemistry, also showing altered markers in regions of MRI and DTI change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
Issue number3S
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anisotropy
  • T2 relaxometry
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • microgliosis
  • traumatic axonal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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