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Investigation of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient from Ultra-high b-Values in Parkinson’s Disease

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To assess brain damage in Parkinson’s disease (PD) based on apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) data obtained from ultra-high b-values.


Eighteen PD patients and 18 controls received diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) with standard b-values (0, 1,000 s/mm2) and 15 b-values (0–5,000 s/mm2). Standard ADC (ADCst) maps were calculated from standard b-values, while maps of pure diffusion coefficients (D), pseudo-diffusion coefficients (D*), and ultra-high ADCs (ADCuh) were calculated from the 15 b-values using a tri-component model. In this model, D and D* values were quantified with a bi-exponential equation using b-values less than 2,000 s/mm2, while ADCuh was quantified by fitting the signals at ultra-high b-values (2,000–5,000 s/mm2) to the mono-exponential equation. ADCst, ADCuh, D, and D* of the globus pallidus (GP), putamen (P), and substantia nigra (SN) were compared between PD patients and normal control subjects.


ADCuh of the GP, P, and SN was significantly lower in PD patients than those in control subjects (P < 0.001), while ADCst, D, and D* of the GP, P and SN were not different between the two groups (P > 0.05).


ADCuh may be a useful measurement for evaluating brain damage in PD patients.

Key Points

DWI with ultra-high b-values may provide new insight into Parkinsons disease pathology

ADC calculated using ultra-high b-values is different between PD and controls

ADC uh may be associated with water transportation by aquaporins

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three-dimensional brain volume imaging


apparent diffusion coefficient

ADCst :

ADC calculated using standard b-values

ADCuh :

ADC calculated using ultra-high b-values




pure diffusion coefficient

D* :

pseudo-diffusion coefficient


diffusion weighted imaging


extracellular compartment space


field of view


axial fast spin-echo


Hoehn and Yahr staging scale


intraclass correlation


limits of agreement


mean diffusivity


multiple system atrophy


MSA with predominant cerebellar dysfunction


MSA with predominant Parkinsonism


Parkinson’s disease


region of interest


echo time


repetition time


T2 fluid attenuation inversion recovery


T2-weighted imaging


Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale


standard deviation


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The scientific guarantor of this publication is Huangli. Dr. Zhang Zhongping and Dr. Zhao Zhoushe declare relationships with the following companies: General Electric Healthcare China. The study has received funding by the Guangzhou Science and Technique Program of China (No. 2012j4300077). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional review board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients in this study. Methodology: prospective case-control study, performed at one institution.

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Correspondence to Huang Li.

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Xueying, L., Zhongping, Z., Zhoushe, Z. et al. Investigation of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient from Ultra-high b-Values in Parkinson’s Disease. Eur Radiol 25, 2593–2600 (2015).

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