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Keywords:

  • brain; diffusion; kurtosis

Abstract

Purpose:

To provide estimates of the diffusional kurtosis in the healthy brain in anatomically defined areas and list these along previously reported values in pathologies.

Materials and Methods:

Thirty-six volunteers (mean age = 33.1 years; range, 19–64 years) underwent diffusional kurtosis imaging. Mean kurtosis (MK), radial kurtosis (RK), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and fractional anisotropy (FA) were determined in 26 anatomical structures. Parameter estimates were assessed regarding age dependence.

Results:

MK varied from 1.38 in the splenium of the corpus callosum to 0.66 in the caudate head, MD varied from 0.68 to 0.62 μm2/ms and FA from 0.87 to 0.29. MK, and FA showed a strong positive correlation, RK and RD a strong negative correlation. Parameter estimates showed age correlation in some regions; also the average MK and RK for all WM and all GM areas, respectively, were negatively correlated with age.

Conclusion:

DKI parameter estimates MK and RK varied depending on the anatomical region and varied with age in pooled WM and GM data. MK estimates in the internal capsule, corpus callosum, and thalamus were consistent with previous studies. The range of values of MK and RK in healthy brain overlapped with that in pathologies. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;37:610–618. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.