May 2006
Volume 47, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2006
Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Living Human Optic Nerve From the Neonatal Period to the Adult
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • D.A. Lee
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  • D. Mulvihill
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  • K.Q. Cheng
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  • D. Jenkins
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  D.A. Lee, None; D. Mulvihill, None; K.Q. Cheng, None; D. Jenkins, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2006, Vol.47, 735. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      D.A. Lee, D. Mulvihill, K.Q. Cheng, D. Jenkins; Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Living Human Optic Nerve From the Neonatal Period to the Adult . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):735.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: : Optic nerve demyelination and axonal loss play an important role in white matter disorders such as optic neuropathy. Conventional MRI techniques such as T1 and T2–weighted MRI are significantly more sensitive in detecting brain tissue damage than ultrasound or CT scans. However, signal intensity changes on T1– and T2–weighted MRI images can be difficult to detect particularly for early optic nerve damage. We investigated the fractional anisotropy (FA) in human optic nerves during brain development using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and quantitatively assessed of optic nerve damage from white matter injury unavailable with conventional MRI.

Methods: : DTI was performed on all patients in additional to the conventional MRI scans. The DTI data was acquired in a single–shot echo planar sequence with six gradient directions. The imaging parameters are field–of–view (FOV) of 24x36 cm, section thickness of 5 mm at 1–mm intervals, matrix 256 × 128, and the b value of 0 and 1000 s/mm2. All DTI data was transferred to a workstation for off–line postprocessing. Multiple small circular regions of interest (ROI) were placed in the optic nerve. Values of FA were measured in 5 neonates, 2 young and 3 adults.

Results: : Mean FA of optic nerves was 0.4165 (SD ± 0.0595) in neonates (near term or full term), 0.4660 (SD ± 0.0432) in young adults (ages 10 to 14 years), and 0.4384 (SD ± 0.0216) in adults (ages 50–80 years). There is a significant difference (P=0.03) in FA values between neonates and young adults age group, but no difference between young adults and adults. Continuous increases of FA in optic nerves from birth into teenage years suggest continuing maturation and organization of deep tracts undetectable on conventional MRI. The lower values of FA in the adult group indicated that these patients may have some optic nerve damage or natural white matter atrophy.

Conclusions: : DTI can be a useful tool for quantifying white matter damage in human optic nerves. Further study involving patients with different types of optic neuropathy is in progress.

Keywords: visual development: infancy and childhood • imaging/image analysis: clinical • visual impairment: neuro-ophthalmological disease 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.