Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Rachelle Crescenzi, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Contact Information
(615) 322-8350


My research interests are in the development of noninvasive MRI techniques that exploit endogenous molecular contrasts in vivo. My recent developments have focused on optimizing image contrast for the lymphatic system, including abilities to image small vessel structures, lymph node organs, and the unique properties of lymphatic fluid in tissues. In particular, I have experience with sodium, T1rho, CEST, and multi-point Dixon MRI methods, and have applied these methods to measure tissue sodium, protein, and fat accumulation in diseases of impaired lymphatic vascular clearance.


My research projects focus on understudied diseases of the lymphatic system with a focus on those that impact women's health, including breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema and lipedema. I work with a collaborative group of research scientists and physicians within The Center for Translational Vascular and Physiological Imaging. For more information regarding methods, current developments, and for patients who may be interested in learning more about our research studies, please visit the Donahue lab website


Crescenzi R, Braxton VG, Scott AO, Donahue MJ. Quantitative relaxation time mapping of axillary lymph nodes and recommended parameters for 3T lymphatic node substructure imaging. 25th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 22-27, 2017.

Crescenzi R, Donahue PM, Mahany HB, Wang P, Beckman JA, Donahue MJ, Titze J. A novel application of quantitative sodium MRI for distinguishing lipedema from obesity. 25th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), April 22-27, 2017.

Crescenzi R*, Donahue PM*, Harley K, Desai AA, Scott AO, et al. Lymphedema Evaluation Using Noninvasive 3T MR Lymphangiography. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2017 Feb 28; doi: 10.1002/jmri.25670. PMID: 28245075.

Donahue PM, Crescenzi R, Scott AO, Braxton V, Desai A, et al. Bilateral Changes in Deep Tissue Environment After Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Patients with Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Lymphedema. Lymphatic Research and Biology. 2017 Mar;15(1):45-56. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2016.0020. PMID: 28323572.

Crescenzi R, DeBrosse C, Nanga RP, Byrne MD, Krishnamoorthy G, D'Aquilla K, Nath H, Morales KH, Iba M, Hariharan H, Lee VM, Detre JA, Reddy R. Longitudinal imaging reveals subhippocampal dynamics in glutamate levels associated with histopathologic events in a mouse model of tauopathy and healthy mice. Hippocampus. 2017 Mar;27(3):285-302. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22693. PubMed PMID: 27997993. Featured cover image.