Dynamic changes in white matter following traumatic brain injury and how diffuse axonal injury relates to cognitive domain

Daphine Centola Grassi, Ana Luiza Zaninotto, Fabrício Stewan Feltrin, Fabíola Bezerra Carvalho Macruz, Maria Concepción García Otaduy, Claudia Costa Leite, Vinícius Monteiro Paula Guirado, Wellingson Silva Paiva, Celi Santos Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal is to evaluate longitudinally with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) the integrity of cerebral white matter in patients with moderate and severe DAI and to correlate the DTI findings with cognitive deficits. Methods: Patients with DAI (n = 20) were scanned at three timepoints (2, 6 and 12 months) after trauma. A healthy control group (n = 20) was evaluated once with the same high-field MRI scanner. The corpus callosum (CC) and the bilateral superior longitudinal fascicles (SLFs) were assessed by deterministic tractography with ExploreDTI. A neuropschychological evaluation was also performed. Results: The CC and both SLFs demonstrated various microstructural abnormalities in between-groups comparisons. All DTI parameters demonstrated changes across time in the body of the CC, while FA (fractional anisotropy) increases were seen on both SLFs. In the splenium of the CC, progressive changes in the mean diffusivity (MD) and axial diffusivity (AD) were also observed. There was an improvement in attention and memory along time. Remarkably, DTI parameters demonstrated several correlations with the cognitive domains. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that microstructural changes in the white matter are dynamic and may be detectable by DTI throughout the first year after trauma. Likewise, patients also demonstrated improvement in some cognitive skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalBrain injury
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Brain injury
  • cognition
  • DTI
  • MRI
  • tractography
  • white matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic changes in white matter following traumatic brain injury and how diffuse axonal injury relates to cognitive domain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this