Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging Detects Microstructural Changes in the Brain after Acute Alcohol Intoxication in Rats

Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:4757025. doi: 10.1155/2017/4757025. Epub 2017 Jan 18.


The aim of this study was to test the technical feasibility of diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) in the brain after acute alcohol intoxication. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and DKI during 7.0 T MRI were performed in the frontal lobe and thalamus before and 30 min, 2 h, and 6 h after ethyl alcohol administration. Compared with controls, mean kurtosis values of the frontal lobe and thalamus first decreased by 44% and 38% within 30 min (p < 0.01 all) and then increased by 14% and 46% at 2 h (frontal lobe, p > 0.05; thalamus, p < 0.01) and by 29% and 68% at 6 h (frontal lobe, p < 0.05; thalamus, p < 0.01) after acute intake. Mean diffusivity decreased significantly in both the frontal lobe and the thalamus at various stages. However, fractional anisotropy decreased only in the frontal lobe, with no detectable change in the thalamus. This demonstrates that DKI possesses sufficient sensitivity for tracking pathophysiological changes at various stages associated with acute alcohol intoxication and may provide additional information that may be missed by conventional DTI parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / diagnostic imaging*
  • Animals
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging*