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High resolution atlas of the venous brain vasculature from 7 T quantitative susceptibility maps

By Julia Huck, Yvonne Wanner, Audrey P. Fan, Anna-Thekla Jäger, Sophia Grahl, Uta Schneider, Arno Villringer, Christopher J Steele, Christine L. Tardif, Pierre-Louis Bazin, Claudine J. Gauthier

Posted 15 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/444349 (published DOI: 10.1007/s00429-019-01919-4)

The vascular organization of the human brain can determine neurological and neurophysiological functions, yet thus far it has not been comprehensively mapped. Aging and diseases such as dementia are known to be associated with changes to the vasculature and normative data could help detect these vascular changes in neuroimaging studies. Furthermore, given the well-known impact of venous vessels on the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal, information about the common location of veins could help detect biases in existing datasets. In this work, a quantitative atlas of the venous vasculature using quantitative susceptibility maps (QSM) acquired with a 0.6 mm isotropic resolution is presented. The Venous Neuroanatomy (VENAT) atlas was created from 5 repeated 7 Tesla MRI measurements in young and healthy volunteers (n = 20, 10 females, mean age = 25.1 ± 2.5 years) using a two-step registration method on 3D segmentations of the venous vasculature. This cerebral vein atlas includes the average vessel location, diameter (mean: 0.84 ± 0.33 mm) and curvature (0.11 ± 0.05 mm−1) from all participants and provides an in vivo measure of the angio-architectonic organization of the human brain and its variability. This atlas can be used as a basis to understand changes in the vasculature during aging and neurodegeneration, as well as vascular and physiological effects in neuroimaging.

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