Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the optic nerve (ON) was acquired in normal controls using zonally oblique multislice (ZOOM) DTI, which excites a small field of view (FOV) using a fast sequence with a shortened EPI echo train. This combines the benefit of low sensitivity to motion (due to the single-shot acquisition used), with the additional advantage of reduced sensitivity to magnetic field susceptibility artifacts. Reducing the bright signal from the fat and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the nerve are key requirements for the success of the presented method. Measurements of mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) indices were made in a coronal section of the middle portion of the optic nerve (ON) in the right (rON) and left (lON) ONs. The average values across 10 healthy volunteers were FArON = 0.64 +/- 0.09 and FAlON = 0.57 +/- 0.10, and MDrON = (1173 +/- 227) x 10(-6) mm2 s(-1) and MDlON = (1266 +/- 170) x 10(-6) mm2 s(-1). Measurements of the principal eigenvalue of the DT and its orthogonal component were also in agreement with those expected from a highly directional structural organization.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.