Predicting Impairment in Mild Brain Injury Via ImagingLast Updated: August 27, 2009. Diffusion tensor imaging of patients with mild traumatic brain injury can discern objective evidence of injury predictive of impairment in executive function, according to a study in the September issue of Radiology.
THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Diffusion tensor imaging of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can discern objective evidence of injury predictive of impairment in executive function, according to a study in the September issue of Radiology.
Michael L. Lipton, M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues carried out brain imaging and neuropsychological work-ups of 20 patients with mTBI within two weeks of injury, as well as a control group of 20 uninjured subjects matched for age and sex. The researchers compared mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy images for the two groups and evaluated the association of those metrics with executive function.
Experienced reviewers who assessed MRIs and computed tomography images from patients and controls found no abnormalities, although patients performed significantly worse than controls on neuropsychological tests. However, the researchers found dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) white matter anisotropy was detectable by diffusion tensor imaging, and that low DLPFC fractional anisotropy was associated with poorer performance in executive function.
"In conclusion, we found that lower DLPFC white matter fractional anisotropy in acute mTBI helps predict impaired executive function in these patients. It remains to be determined, given larger longitudinal studies, whether the diffusion tensor imaging findings at the time of injury are in fact predictive of long-term outcome," the authors write.
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