Advanced Topics in Diffusion and Perfusion

Organizers: Fernando Calamante, Ph.D., Claudia A.M. Wheeler-Kingshott, Ph.D.
Skill Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Saturday, 3 May 2008


This one-day course covers intermediate to advanced topics in cerebral diffusion and perfusion imaging. The aim of the course is to discuss the most important recent advances in these fields of neuroimaging. There will be particular emphasis on the critical discussion of recent developments, the evaluations of the different methodologies, and the assessment of their role in basic and clinical science.  Furthermore it will review the selected fields as they currently stand. Pitfalls and artifacts will be covered and emerging research areas/ cutting edge techniques highlighted.

Educational Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the biological substrates on quantitative parameters derived from diffusion imaging;
  • Describe the basis of mathematical models for the diffusion mechanism, using both tensor and non-tensor models;
  • Recognize and select the appropriate imaging sequence for diffusion imaging, identify and address common artifacts, and realize the implications of using high magnetic field strength;
  • Explain the role of tractography as a possible method of analysis of diffusion data, the implications of the prospect of tractography analysis on the choice of the sequence parameters used to acquire the data in the first place and the current challenges of validating this technique;
  • Describe the different analysis methods that can be used with quantitative diffusion parameters maps and with the tractography-derived outcomes;
  • Explain the theoretical basis and biophysical underpinnings of perfusion-based MR techniques;
  • Recognize the influence of signal non-linearities and arterial input choice on bolus-tracking perfusion measurements, and understand the theoretical and practical limitations of the deconvolution step; and
  • List the latest advances that have greatly improved the robustness of arterial spin labeling (ASL), select the appropriate imaging sequence for different perfusion-based imaging studies, and identify the role of ASL methods beyond cerebral blood flow measurements.
  • Audience Description:

    This course is especially aimed at Ph.D. candidates, postdoctoral students, and residents who have a working knowledge of MR physics that includes basic concepts of MR imaging and data analysis such as phases, susceptibility, etc. It would also benefit researchers who have expertise in the area and wish to expend their knowledge base to include complementary techniques.  It is designed for anyone who wants to develop a solid understanding of diffusion and perfusion MR imaging techniques.

      Diffusion Imaging  
    8:30 Summary of DTI Principles Stefan T. Skare, Ph.D.
    9:00 Beyond the Diffusion Tensor Daniel Alexander, Ph.D.
    9:45 Biophysics of Diffusion Peter Basser, Ph.D.  
    10:15 Break  
    10:15 - 10:30 Meet the Teachers  
    10:45 Acquisition Methods and Artifacts Karla L. Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
    11:30 Tractography - Beyond the Usual Talks Tim Bjorn B. Dyrby, M.Sc.
    12:10 Quantitative Analysis Methods in the Brain Mara Cercignani, M.Phil.
    12:55 Break  
    12:55 - 13:10 Meet the Teachers  
      Perfusion Imaging  
    14:10 Measuring Contrast Concentration: Are We Really in Trouble? Valerij G. Kiselev, Ph.D.
    14:35 Arterial Input Function: What's All the Fuss About It? Matthias J.P. van Osch, Ph.D.
    15:05 DSC-MRI: Nuts and Bolts About Deconvolution Kim Mouridsen, Ph.D.
    15:35 Break  
    15:35 - 15:50 Meet the Teachers  
    16:00 ASL Principles: Beyond Perfusion Xavier G. Golay, Ph.D.
    16:30 Tricks to Make ASL More Robust David Alsop, Ph.D.
    17:00 Tell Me Your Application, I Will Tell You the ASL Sequence Jiongjiong Wang, Ph.D.
    17:25 Perfusion: Do We All Mean the Same? Richard B. Buxton, Ph.D.
    17:50 Adjournment  
    17:50 - 18:00 Meet the Teachers