Diffusion Tensor Tractography for Detection of Concomitant Traumatic Brain Injury in Patients With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

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Abstract

Objectives:

We investigated concomitant traumatic brain injury in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) who had head trauma history, using diffusion tensor tractography (DTT).

Design:

Retrospective survey.

Participants:

We recruited 14 consecutive patients with TSCI and coexisting head trauma history at the time of TSCI and 30 control subjects.

Methods:

The corticospinal tract (CST), corticoreticulospinal tract (CRT), cingulum, and fornix were reconstructed using DTT, and DTT parameters (fractional anisotropy and fiber volume) and configuration were estimated.

Results:

The values of fractional anisotropy and fiber volume in the CST, CRT, cingulum, and fornix of the patient group were significantly lower than those of the control group (P < .05). On configurational analysis of DTT for each tract, the neural tracts for motor function (the CST and CRT) had more injury than the neural tracts for cognitive function (the cingulum and fornix). No association between the severity of TSCI and traumatic brain injury was observed in terms of DTT parameters.

Conclusions:

Using DTT, we found injury of the neural tracts in patients with head trauma history at the time of TSCI. Our results suggest that brain evaluation using DTT can be recommended for the patients with head trauma history at the time of TSCI irrespective of the results of conventional brain MRI.

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