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Recovery of white matter following pediatric traumatic brain injury depends on injury severity

Genc, Sila, Anderson, Vicki, Ryan, Nicholas P., Malpas, Charles B., Catroppa, Cathy, Beauchamp, Miriam H. and Silk, Timothy J. 2017. Recovery of white matter following pediatric traumatic brain injury depends on injury severity. Journal of Neurotrauma 34 (4) , pp. 798-806. 10.1089/neu.2016.4584

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Previous studies in pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been variable in describing the effects of injury severity on white-matter development. The present study used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate prospective sub-acute and longitudinal relationships between early clinical indicators of injury severity, diffusion metrics, and neuropsychological outcomes. Pediatric patients with TBI underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (n = 78, mean [M] = 10.56, standard deviation [SD] = 2.21 years) at the sub-acute stage after injury (M = 5.55, SD = 3.05 weeks), and typically developing children were also included and imaged (n = 30, M = 10.60, SD = 2.88 years). A sub-set of the patients with TBI (n = 15) was followed up with MRI 2 years post-injury. Diffusion MRI images were acquired at sub-acute and 2-year follow-up time points and analyzed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. At the sub-acute stage, mean diffusivity and axial diffusivity were significantly higher in the TBI group compared with matched controls (p < 0.05). TBI severity significantly predicted diffusion profiles at the sub-acute and 2-year post-injury MRI. Patients with more severe TBI also exhibited poorer information processing speed at 6-months post-injury, which in turn correlated with their diffusion metrics. These findings highlight that the severity of the injury not only has an impact on white-matter microstructure, it also impacts its recovery over time. Moreover, findings suggest that sub-acute microstructural changes may represent a useful prognostic marker to identify children at elevated risk for longer term deficits.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN: 0897-7151
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2019 14:43

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