Diffusion tensor tractography of traumatic diffuse axonal injury

Jun Yi Wang, Khamid Bakhadirov, Michael D. Devous, Hervé Abdi, Roddy McColl, Carol Moore, Carlos D. Marquez De La Plata, Kan Ding, Anthony Whittemore, Evelyn Babcock, Tiffany Rickbeil, Julia Dobervich, David Kroll, Bao Dao, Nisha Mohindra, Christopher J. Madden, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Background: Diffuse axonal injury is a common consequence of traumatic brain injury that frequently involves the parasagittal white matter, corpus callosum, and brainstem. Objective: To examine the potential of diffusion tensor tractography in detecting diffuse axonal injury at the acute stage of injury and predicting long-term functional outcome. Design: Tract-derived fiber variables were analyzed to distinguish patients from control subjects and to determine their relationship to outcome. Setting: Inpatient traumatic brain injury unit. Patients: From 2005 to 2006, magnetic resonance images were acquired in 12 patients approximately 7 days after injury and in 12 age- and sex-matched controls. Main Outcome Measures: Six fiber variables of the corpus callosum, fornix, and peduncular projections were obtained. Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended scores were assessed approximately 9 months after injury in 11 of the 12 patients. Results: At least 1 fiber variable of each region showed diffuse axonal injury-associated alterations. At least 1 fiber variable of the anterior body and splenium of the corpus callosum correlated significantly with the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended scores. The predicted outcome scores correlated significantly with actual scores in a mixed-effects model. Conclusion: Diffusion tensor tractography-based quantitative analysis at the acute stage of injury has the potential to serve as a valuable biomarker of diffuse axonal injury and predict long-term outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-626
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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