Diagnostic Approach to Traumatic Axonal Injury of the Optic Radiation in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


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Abstract

We describe a diffusion tensor tractography–based diagnostic approach to traumatic axonal injury of the optic radiation in a patient who showed visual field defect after mild traumatic brain injury. A 43-yr-old female patient experienced head trauma during a motor vehicle accident. After the head trauma, she noticed visual disturbance. Peripheral field defects were detected in both eyes on the Humphrey visual field test. After diffusion tensor tractography–based reconstruction of the optic radiation, We determined the fractional anisotropy and fiber number of each whole optic radiation. Four regions of interest were placed on the optic radiations based on diffusion tensor tractography configuration. The right optic radiation showed narrowing, and the left optic radiation revealed partial tearing in the posterior portion. The fiber number of the right optic radiation was more than two standard deviations lower than the control mean. The fractional anisotropy values of the regions of interest 2 (the narrowed area of the right optic radiation) and regions of interest 3 (the partially torn area of the left optic radiation) were more than two standard deviations lower than the control mean. Our results suggest that analysis of the configuration and parameters of the optic radiation based on three-dimensionally reconstructed diffusion tensor tractography results is a useful technique in the detection of traumatic axonal injury of the optic radiation in individual patients with mild traumatic brain injury.

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