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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227

Abstract

GRASSI, Daphine Centola; CONCEICAO, David Macedo da; LEITE, Claudia da Costa  and  ANDRADE, Celi Santos. Current contribution of diffusion tensor imaging in the evaluation of diffuse axonal injury. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2018, vol.76, n.3, pp.189-199. ISSN 1678-4227.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0004-282x20180007.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the number one cause of death and morbidity among young adults. Moreover, survivors are frequently left with functional disabilities during the most productive years of their lives. One main aspect of TBI pathology is diffuse axonal injury, which is increasingly recognized due to its presence in 40% to 50% of all cases that require hospital admission. Diffuse axonal injury is defined as widespread axonal damage and is characterized by complete axotomy and secondary reactions due to overall axonopathy. These changes can be seen in neuroimaging studies as hemorrhagic focal areas and diffuse edema. However, the diffuse axonal injury findings are frequently under-recognized in conventional neuroimaging studies. In such scenarios, diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) plays an important role because it provides further information on white matter integrity that is not obtained with standard magnetic resonance imaging sequences. Extensive reviews concerning the physics of DTI and its use in the context of TBI patients have been published, but these issues are still hazy for many allied-health professionals. Herein, we aim to review the current contribution of diverse state-of-the-art DTI analytical methods to the understanding of diffuse axonal injury pathophysiology and prognosis, to serve as a quick reference for those interested in planning new studies and who are involved in the care of TBI victims. For this purpose, a comprehensive search in Pubmed was performed using the following keywords: “traumatic brain injury”, “diffuse axonal injury”, and “diffusion tensor imaging”.

Keywords : magnetic resonance imaging; diffusion tensor imaging; diffuse axonal injury; brain injuries; traumatic.

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