Characterisation of microvessel blood velocity and segment length in the brain using multi-diffusion-time diffusion-weighted MRI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Lauren A Scott
  • Shelley D Rawson
  • Graham Coutts


Multi-diffusion-time diffusion-weighted MRI can probe tissue microstructure, but the method has not been widely applied to the microvasculature. At long diffusion-times, blood flow in capillaries is in the diffusive regime, and signal attenuation is dependent on blood velocity ( v ) and capillary segment length ( l ). It is described by the pseudo-diffusion coefficient ( D * = v l / 6 ) of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM). At shorter diffusion-times, blood flow is in the ballistic regime, and signal attenuation depends on v , and not l . In theory, l could be estimated using D * and v . In this study, we compare the accuracy and repeatability of three approaches to estimating v , and therefore l : the IVIM ballistic model, the velocity autocorrelation model, and the ballistic approximation to the velocity autocorrelation model. Twenty-nine rat datasets from two strains were acquired at 7 T, with b -values between 0 and 1000 smm-2 and diffusion times between 11.6 and 50 ms. Five rats were scanned twice to assess scan-rescan repeatability. Measurements of l were validated using corrosion casting and micro-CT imaging. The ballistic approximation of the velocity autocorrelation model had lowest bias relative to corrosion cast estimates of l , and had highest repeatability.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271678X20978523
JournalJournal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Early online date16 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2020