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Diffusion MRI in acute nervous system injury. J Magn Reson 2018 07;292:137-148



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85047209748   17 Citations


Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) and related techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are uniquely sensitive to the microstructure of the brain and spinal cord. In the acute aftermath of nervous system injury, for example, DWI reveals changes caused by injury that remains invisible on other MRI contrasts such as T2-weighted imaging. This ability has led to a demonstrated clinical utility in cerebral ischemia. However, despite strong promise in preclinical models and research settings, DWI has not been as readily adopted for other acute injuries such as traumatic spinal cord, brain, or peripheral nerve injury. Furthermore, the precise biophysical mechanisms that underlie DWI and DTI changes are not fully understood. In this report, we review the DWI and DTI changes that occur in acute neurological injury of cerebral ischemia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and peripheral nerve injury. Their associations with the underlying biology are examined with an emphasis on the role of acute axon and dendrite beading. Lastly, emerging DWI techniques to overcome the limitations of DTI are discussed as these may offer the needed improvements to translate to clinical settings.

Author List

Budde MD, Skinner NP


Matthew Budde PhD Associate Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Nathan Skinner in the CTSI department at Medical College of Wisconsin - CTSI

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

Acute Disease
Brain Injuries
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Peripheral Nerve Injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries
Trauma, Nervous System