February 28, 2021

Increasing age is independently associated with higher free water in non-active MS brain – A multi-compartment analysis using FAST-T2

Purpose: To explore the relationship between the cerebral cortical perivascular space (PVS) and aging in non-active MS subjects by using the multi-echo T2 relaxometry based cerebrospinal fluid fraction (CSFF) map. Methods: Multi-echo spiral T2 data from 111 subjects with non-active multiple sclerosis (MS) were retrospectively investigated by fitting the T2 data into a three-compartment model, the three water compartments including myelin water, intra-extracellular water, and cerebrospinal fluid. Segmentation of T1w image was performed to get the region of interest (ROI) in cerebral cortical regions. The white matter lesion segmentation was conducted using a convolutional neural network (CNN) based segmentation tool. The CSFF in the ROIs were correlated with age by controlling the gender, white matter hyperintensity lesion burden, and MS disease duration. Multiple linear models were created for the analysis of aging effect on the CSFF. Results: The ROI analysis shows that the CSFF in the cerebral cortical regions (temporal, occipital, parietal, front, hippo, and mtl) are significantly linear increasing with age (p<0.01). The intra-extracellular water fraction (IEWF) in the ROIs are significantly linear decreasing (p<0.01). Conclusion: The multi-echo T2 based three-compartment model can be used to quantify the CSFF. The linear increase of CSF water contents in the cerebral cortical regions indicates increased perivascular space load in cortex with aging. The quantification of CSFF may provide a way to understand the glymphatic clearance function in aging and neurodegenerations.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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