DTI allows radiologists to see areas of the brain rarely seen using other imaging modalities

Radiologists are now able to look at parts of the brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that are rarely visible with any other imaging method, according to a study performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.

“DTI data was available in 179 cases. DTI is a technique that measures diffusion in a series of different spatial directions (XYZ). We used DTI to evaluate the white matter anatomy (layer found beneath the outer layer of the brain),” said Fargol Booya, MD, lead author of the study. “Based on the pattern of color changes, we could somewhat predict whether white matter tracts were displaced. Evaluation of white matter anatomy is usually not possible with any other imaging method. Tumor (21 patients), hemorrhage (15 patients) and infarction (27 patients) had different manifestations on DTI,” she said.

“This method offers an overall view of brain anatomy, including the degree of connectivity between the different regions of the brain. Characterization of sensorimotor pathways or language center involvement by acute ischemic insults has a strong correspondence to clinical symptoms, prognosis and long-term management,” said Dr. Booya.

“There are advantages of DTI in every day practice such as determining prognosis, improving characterization of white matter lesions and preoperative planning,” she said.

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