Longitudinal changes in brain volumetry and cognitive functions after moderate and severe diffuse axonal injury

Fabrício Stewan Feltrin, Ana Luiza Zaninotto, Vinícius M.P. Guirado, Fabiola Macruz, Daniel Sakuno, Mariana Dalaqua, Luiz Gustavo Antunes Magalhães, Wellingson Silva Paiva, Almir Ferreira de Andrade, Maria C.G. Otaduy, Claudia C. Leite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and objective: Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) induces a long-term process of brain atrophy and cognitive deficits. The goal of this study was to determine whether there are correlations between brain volume loss, microhaemorrhage load (MHL) and neuropsychological performance during the first year after DAI. Methods: Twenty-four patients with moderate or severe DAI were evaluated at 2, 6 and 12 months post-injury. MHL was evaluated at 3 months, and brain volumetry was evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months. The trail making test (TMT) was used to evaluate executive function (EF), and the Hopkins verbal learning test (HVLT) was used to evaluate episodic verbal memory (EVM) at 6 and 12 months. Results: There were significant white matter volume (WMV), subcortical grey matter volume and total brain volume (TBV) reductions during the study period (p < 0.05). MHL was correlated only with WMV reduction. EF and EVM were not correlated with MHL but were, in part, correlated with WMV and TBV reductions. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that MHL may be a predictor of WMV reduction but cannot predict EF or EVM in DAI. Brain atrophy progresses over time, but patients showed better EF and EVM in some of the tests, which could be due to neuroplasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1208-1217
Number of pages10
JournalBrain injury
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 24 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cognition
  • diffuse axonal injury
  • longitudinal
  • resonance
  • switching behavior
  • volumetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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