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Predictive values of spinal cord diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to characterize outcomes after contusion injury. Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2023 Sep;10(9):1647-1661



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85165898607 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


OBJECTIVES: To explore filtered diffusion-weighted imaging (fDWI), in comparison with conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), as a predictor for long-term locomotor and urodynamic (UD) outcomes in Yucatan minipig model of spinal cord injury (SCI). Additionally, electrical conductivity of neural tissue using D-waves above and below the injury was measured to assess correlations between fDWI and D-waves data.

METHODS: Eleven minipigs with contusion SCI at T8-T10 level underwent MRI at 3T 4 h. post-SCI. Parameters extracted from region of interest analysis included Daxial from fDWI at injury site, fractional anisotropy and radial diffusivity from DTI above the injury site along with measures of edema length and cord width at injury site from T2 -weighted images. Locomotor recovery was assessed pre- and weekly post-SCI through porcine thoracic injury behavior scale (PTIBS) and UD were performed pre- and at 12 weeks of SCI. D-waves latency and amplitude differences were recorded before and immediately after SCI.

RESULTS: Two groups of pigs were found based on the PTIBS at week 12 (p < 0.0001) post-SCI and were labeled "poor" and "good" recovery. D-waves amplitude decreased below injury and increased above injury. UD outcomes pre/post SCI changed significantly. Conventional MRI metrics from T2 -weighted images were significantly correlated with diffusion MRI metrics. Daxial at injury epicenter was diminished by over 50% shortly after SCI, and it differentiated between good and poor locomotor recovery and UD outcomes.

INTERPRETATION: Similar to small animal studies, fDWI from acute imaging after SCI is a promising predictor for functional outcomes in large animals.

Author List

Ahmed RU, Medina-Aguinaga D, Adams S, Knibbe CA, Morgan M, Gibson D, Kim JW, Sharma M, Chopra M, Davison S, Sherwood LC, Negahdar MJ, Bert R, Ugiliweneza B, Hubscher C, Budde MD, Xu J, Boakye M


Matthew Budde PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Spinal Cord Injuries
Swine, Miniature