Senior Scholars Program


Magnetic resonance imaging of tissue and vascular layers in the cat retina

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

Faculty Advisor

Timothy Q. Duong

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Cats; Contrast Media; Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Female; Gadolinium DTPA; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Retina; Subtraction Technique




PURPOSE: To report the visual resolution of multiple cell and vascular "layers" in the cat retina using MRI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: T2- and diffusion-weighted MRI at 4.7 Tesla was performed. Layer-specific thickness, T2, spin density, apparent diffusion coefficient perpendicular (ADC(perpendicular)) and parallel (ADC(parallel)) to the retinal surface were tabulated. T1-weighted MRI was acquired before and after intravenous administration of Gd-DTPA and subtraction images were obtained. Histology was performed for validation.

RESULTS: Three distinct "layers" were observed. The inner strip nearest to the vitreous (exhibiting large T2, ADC, spin density with Gd-DTPA enhancement) overlapped the ganglion cell layer, bipolar cell layer, and the embedded retinal vascular layer. The middle strip (exhibiting small T2, ADC, spin density without Gd-DTPA enhancement) overlapped the photoreceptor cell layer and the inner and outer segments. The outer strip (exhibiting large T2, ADC, spin density with Gd-DTPA enhancement) overlapped the tapetum and choroidal vascular layer. T2, spin density, ADC(perpendicular) and ADC(parallel) of different "layers" were tabulated. The inner strip was slightly thicker than the other two strips. The total thickness, including neural and nonneural retina, was 358 +/- 13 microm (N = 6) by MRI and 319 +/- 77 microm (N = 5) by histology.

CONCLUSION: MRI provides a noninvasive tool to study the retina with laminar specificity without depth limitation.

DOI of Published Version



J Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Apr;23(4):465-72. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI


Medical student Thomas F. Chang participated in this study as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID