Spatiotemporal dynamics of diffusional kurtosis, mean diffusivity and perfusion changes in experimental stroke

.. Rectal temperature was maintained at 37.0 °C ± 0.5 °C using a circulating warm-water pad
throughout the experiments. Heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen saturation level were
monitored using MouseOx system (STARR Life Science, Oakmont, PA, USA). …
Diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI), which measures the non-Gaussianity of water diffusion, has been demonstrated to be a sensitive biomarker in many neuropathologies. The goal of this study was to longitudinally examine the spatiotemporal dynamics of DKI in cerebral ischemia in an animal model of permanent and transient (45 min) middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) during the hyperacute, acute and chronic phases. Diffusional kurtosis showed different spatiotemporal dynamics. In particular, mean kurtosis (MK) was sensitive to hyperacute and acute stroke changes, and exhibited different contrast than mean diffusivity (MD) and higher contrast than fractional anisotropy (FA) and T2. MK contrast persisted 1 to 7 days post-occlusion, whereas MD showed renormalization at day 1–2 and reversed contrast at day 7. The current study showed that DKI has the potential to complement existing stroke imaging techniques, particularly in the assessment of subacute to early chronic stroke evolution.