AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Decreased Fractional Anisotropy Evaluated Using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and Correlated with Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Chronic Stage.
Wada T, Asano Y, Shinoda J.
Chubu Medical Center for Prolonged Traumatic Brain Dysfunction, Kizawa Memorial Hospital, and Department of Clinical Brain Sciences, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Minokamo, Gifu, Japan.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The relationship between white matter disruption and cognitive dysfunction of patients with mTBI in the chronic stage remains unclear. The aim of this study was to identify white matter integrity by using DTI in patients with mTBI without morphologic traumatic abnormalities seen with conventional imaging and to evaluate the association of such regions with cognitive function.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diffusion tensor images from 51consecutive patients with mTBI without morphologic traumatic abnormalities on conventional MRI were processed, and FA maps were generated as a measure of white matter integrity. All subjects underwent cognitive examinations (MMSE and WAIS-R FIQ). Correlations between the skeletonized FA values in the white matter and the cognitive function were analyzed by using regression analysis.
RESULTS: In patients with mTBI, significantly decreased FA value clusters in the white matter compared with the healthy controls were found in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, superior frontal gyrus, insula, and fornix. Cognitive examination scores positively correlated with FA values in a number of regions in deep brain structures, which were anatomically close or physiologically intimate to the regions with significant FA value reduction, in patients with mTBI.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that patients with mTBI in the chronic stage have certain regions with abnormally reduced white matter integrity in the brain. Although the clinical and pathologic-anatomic correlation of these findings remains to be elucidated, these brain regions are strongly suggested to be related to chronic persistent cognitive impairments in these patients.
PMID: 22723057 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]