ISMRM 25th Annual Meeting & Exhibition • 22-27 April 2017 • Honolulu, HI, USA

Weekend Educational Course: Diffusion MRI: Principles & Applications
Weekend Course

ORGANIZERS: Daniel C. Alexander, Ph.D. & Stephan E. Maier, M.D., Ph.D.

Saturday, 22 April 2017
Room 311  08:15 - 11:45 Moderators: Daniel Alexander, Stephan Maier

Skill Level: Basic to Intermediate

Slack Channel: #e_diff_perf_fmri
Session Number: WE05

This course will introduce fundamental principles and methodologies of diffusion MRI. The first three lectures will focus on the basics of generating diffusion contrast in MRI and on methods to analyze and visualize diffusion-weighted image data. The following three lectures will showcase the practical applications of diffusion MRI in the brain, body, and in animal models. Ample opportunity will be provided for interaction between audience and speakers.

Target Audience
This course is designed for basic scientists, clinicians and technologists, who would like to learn more about diffusion MRI and the broad applications in brain, body and in animal models.

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

-Distinguish the concepts of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI);
-Recognize diffusion MRI approaches for characterizing tissue microstructure and the need for more advanced diffusion models;
-Recognize potential applications and limitations of diffusion tractography;
-Recognize applications for diffusion MRI in the Brain;
-Recognize applications for diffusion MRI in the Body; and
-Recognize applications for diffusion MRI in Animal Models.

Introduction to Diffusion MRI
Els Fieremans
This lecture will cover the basics of diffusion MRI. We will explore how diffusion in biological tissue serves as an in vivo microscope through its measurement with MRI by varying both diffusion gradient and the diffusion time t, the time over which the molecules diffuse. The concepts of q-space imaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) will be covered, as well as other higher order diffusion methods (biophysical models versus representations). In addition, we will illustrate how varying the diffusion time t provides complimentary information about microstructural length scales.

Diffusion Modeling and Microstructure Probing
Andrada Ianus
This lecture presents the key concepts behind modelling diffusion MRI signal. Specifically, it focuses on various techniques that go beyond the standard diffusion tensor model, and aim to provide biomarkers which can be related to tissue microstructure.

Tracking Fiber Structures
Sonia Pujol
Diffusion MRI tractography enables unprecedented visualization of the trajectory of white matter pathways in vivo. This course will introduce the fundamental principles of tracking fiber structures in diffusion MRI data, and will provide an overview of different tractography methods. Participants will learn about the current capabilities and limitations of tractography techniques for investigating white matter anatomy. Clinical applications of tractography will be presented and challenges of using tractography findings for clinical decision support will be discussed.

Break & Meet the Teachers
Neuro Applications of Diffusion MRI
Michael Zeineh
Body Applications of Diffusion MRI
Bachir Taouli
This presentation will review the added value of DWI in the body, particularly in the oncology patients.


Application of Diffusion MRI in Animal Models
Manisha Aggarwal
This lecture will provide a brief overview of technical considerations involved in diffusion MRI of small animals on preclinical scanners. Applications of diffusion MRI to examine neuroanatomy and brain development in small animals will be covered. We will examine the relations between metrics derived using different diffusion models and acquisition schemes and white matter pathological changes in animal models of injury and disease. In addition, emerging applications of diffusion MRI methods for characterization of brain tissue microstructure in animal models will be explored.


The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for
Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.