Visualization of nerve fibers around the carotid bifurcation with use of a 9.4 Tesla microscopic magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging with tractography

Shin Saito, Hiroyuki Ozawa, Masato Fujioka, Keigo Hikishima, Junichi Hata, Sho Kurihara, Hirotaka James Okano, Kaoru Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Precise imaging of nerves have been challenging in the head and neck region, mainly due to low spatial resolution. Here, we investigated how nerves in the head and neck region could be visualized using an ultra-high magnetic field MR system. Methods: We used formol-carbol-fixed human cadaveric necks and obtained MR diffusion tensor images (DTIs) using a 9.4 Tesla (T) ultra-high magnetic field MR system. Afterward, we prepared tissue sections and checked the anatomic relationships between the neurons and the carotid artery in order to confirm that the visualized fibers are indeed neuron fibers. Results: We were able to identify nerves, including the vagus nerve, the hypoglossal nerve, and the spinal-accessory nerve. Hematoxylin-eosin stained histological sections confirmed neuron fibers in the same anatomic position. Conclusion: This technique has the feasibility to be applied for a more accurate anatomic understanding, maybe even close to a histological level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2228-2234
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1



  • head and neck
  • MR diffusion tensor imaging
  • MR diffusion tensor tractography
  • postmortem study
  • ultra-high magnetic field MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Cite this