Author(s): Ezaki Y, Tsutsumi K, Morikawa M, Nagata I
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Abstract PURPOSE: To determine whether the signal changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), T2*-weighted gradient echo (GE) imaging, and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in diffuse axonal injury (DAI) patients correlate with the clinical outcome. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We diagnosed patients with DAI based on the following criteria: 1) a loss of consciousness from the time of injury that persisted beyond 6 h; 2) no apparent hemorrhagic contusion on computed tomography (CT); 3) the presence of white matter injury on MRI. Twenty-one DAI patients were analyzed (19 M, 2 F, mean age 34 years) with MRI (FLAIR, T2*-weighted GE imaging, and DWI). RESULTS: 325 abnormalities were detected by MRI within a week after injury. The T2*-weighted GE imaging was significantly more sensitive than FLAIR and DWI in diagnosing DAI. DWI detected only 32\% of all lesions, but could depict additional shearing injuries not visible on either T2*-weighted GE imaging or FLAIR. The mean number of lesions in brainstem detected by DWI in the favorable group (good recovery/moderately disabled) was significantly smaller than in the unfavorable group (severely disabled/vegetative survival/death). This trend was not observed on the T2*-weighted GE imaging and FLAIR findings. CONCLUSION: DWI cannot detect all DAI-related lesions, but is a potentially useful imaging modality for both diagnosing and assessing patients with DAI.
This article was published in Acta Radiol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation