Characterization of the Olfactory Pathway by Anisotropic Diffusion Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging in a Pediatric Population
International Journal of Radiology and Imaging Technology
Objective: To characterize white matter tracts of the olfactory system and evaluate differences in diffusion parameters as a function of age in healthy children. Introduction: One of the techniques of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is Diffusion Tensor Imaging, which measures the speed of diffusion of extracellular water molecules found in tissues. Diffusion tensor imaging allows virtual dissections of functional white matter tracts in the human brain in vivo using regions of interest (ROI)  .
... intrinsic trajectories of the olfactory pathway that can be identified using the diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance technique provide an important anatomical reference for the evaluation of clinical disorders commonly associated with the olfactory system in the brains of pediatric patients . Materials and methods: Diffusion tensor imaging was performed in fifty-one volunteer children, aged 6-16 years. The study was conducted with the consent of their parents. Generalized diffusion parameters such as Fractional Anisotropy (FA) and Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) of the total tracts of white matter were correlated with age using a Pearson correlation. Results: A significant negative correlation between ADC values and age was obtained. A sufficiently significant correlation of the generalized FA values was not found over the white matter tracts of the olfactory system. Conclusion: The DTI technique is a powerful tool for obtaining the complete structure of white matter associated with the olfactory system which allows connections between different areas of the brain to be explored. The results of DTI show white matter maturation as a function of age, and this could be used to characterize changes in white matter density and its organization.