Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Normal Canine Brain
Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) MRI has been primarily reported as a method for diagnosing cerebrovascular disease in veterinary patients. In humans, clinical applications for diffusion-weighted MRI have also included epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. Before these applications can be developed in veterinary patients, more data on brain diffusion characteristics are needed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of diffusion in the normal canine brain. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was performed in ten, clinically normal, purpose-bred beagle dogs. On apparent diffusion coefficient maps, regions of interest were drawn around the caudate nucleus, thalamus, piriform lobe, hippocampus, semioval center, and cerebral cortex. Statistically significant differences in mean apparent diffusion coefficient were found for the internal capsule, hippocampus, and thalamus. The highest apparent diffusion coefficient (1044.29 +/- 165.21 mum2 /s (mean +/- SD (standard deviation)) was detected in the hippocampus. The lowest apparent diffusion coefficient was measured in the semioval center (721.39 +/- 126.28 mum2 /s (mean +/- SD)). Significant differences in mean apparent diffusion coefficients of the caudate nucleus, thalamus, and piriform lobe were found by comparing right and left sides. Differences between brain regions may occur due to differences in myelination, neural density, or fiber orientation. The reason for the differences between right and left sides remains unclear. Data from the current study provide background for further studies of diffusion changes in dogs with brain disease.