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Front Hum Neurosci. 2010 May 28;4:42. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2010.00042. eCollection 2010.

Direct visualization of the perforant pathway in the human brain with ex vivo diffusion tensor imaging.

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Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Charlestown, MA, USA.


Ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging yields high resolution images that reveal detailed cerebral anatomy and explicit cytoarchitecture in the cerebral cortex, subcortical structures, and white matter in the human brain. Our data illustrate neuroanatomical correlates of limbic circuitry with high resolution images at high field. In this report, we have studied ex vivo medial temporal lobe samples in high resolution structural MRI and high resolution diffusion MRI. Structural and diffusion MRIs were registered to each other and to histological sections stained for myelin for validation of the perforant pathway. We demonstrate probability maps and fiber tracking from diffusion tensor data that allows the direct visualization of the perforant pathway. Although it is not possible to validate the DTI data with invasive measures, results described here provide an additional line of evidence of the perforant pathway trajectory in the human brain and that the perforant pathway may cross the hippocampal sulcus.


dentate gyrus; entorhinal cortex; hippocampus; presubiculum; resolution; subiculum

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