The effect of inhomogeneous sample susceptibility on measured diffusion anisotropy using NMR imaging

J Magn Reson B. 1995 Jul;108(1):22-30. doi: 10.1006/jmrb.1995.1098.


Water diffusion measurements in white matter of freshly excised pig spinal cord and in parenchyma of fresh celery (excluding the fibers along the edge of the stalk) were performed using NMR at 200 MHz. In white matter of pig spinal cord, the measured diffusion coefficient is anisotropic and independent of sample orientation with respect to the magnetic field. In celery parenchyma, diffusion is isotropic and independent of orientation in the magnetic field when using a diffusion sequence that gives results independent of self-induced magnetic-field gradients. However, when the standard diffusion pulse sequence that gives results dependent upon self-induced magnetic-field gradients is used, diffusion in celery appears isotropic when the stalk is oriented parallel to the magnetic field but anisotropic when oriented perpendicular. Susceptibility variations leading to anisotropic self-induced magnetic-field gradients approximately 3 kHz/cm in magnitude when the celery is oriented perpendicular to the magnetic field can explain this apparent anisotropic diffusion. A study of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in celery as a function of diffusion times ranging from 8 to 22 ms indicates that the motion is at most only slightly restricted. Therefore, although the effect is not seen in all types of samples, one must be aware that self-induced gradients may affect the ADC and may cause isotropic diffusion to appear anisotropic. In addition, NMR experiments that change diffusion-sensitizing gradient timings to study restricted diffusion change the effects of the self-induced gradients as well as the effect of barriers on the ADC, complicating interpretation.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Diffusion
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Magnetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Swine
  • Vegetables / metabolism*
  • Water / metabolism


  • Water