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Head Neck. 2018 Oct;40(10):2228-2234. doi: 10.1002/hed.25318. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Visualization of nerve fibers around the carotid bifurcation with use of a 9.4 Tesla microscopic magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging with tractography.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan.
3
Department of Physiology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
4
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
5
Division of Regenerative Medicine, the Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Precise imaging of nerves have been challenging in the head and neck region, mainly due to low spatial resolution. Here, we investigated how nerves in the head and neck region could be visualized using an ultra-high magnetic field MR system.

METHODS:

We used formol-carbol-fixed human cadaveric necks and obtained MR diffusion tensor images (DTIs) using a 9.4 Tesla (T) ultra-high magnetic field MR system. Afterward, we prepared tissue sections and checked the anatomic relationships between the neurons and the carotid artery in order to confirm that the visualized fibers are indeed neuron fibers.

RESULTS:

We were able to identify nerves, including the vagus nerve, the hypoglossal nerve, and the spinal-accessory nerve. Hematoxylin-eosin stained histological sections confirmed neuron fibers in the same anatomic position.

CONCLUSION:

This technique has the feasibility to be applied for a more accurate anatomic understanding, maybe even close to a histological level.

KEYWORDS:

MR diffusion tensor imaging; MR diffusion tensor tractography; head and neck; postmortem study; ultra-high magnetic field MR

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