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Characterization of white matter damage in ischemic leukoaraiosis with diffusion tensor MRI

Jones, Derek K., Lythgoe, D., Horsfield, M. A., Simmons, A., Williams, S. C. R. and Markus, H. S. 1999. Characterization of white matter damage in ischemic leukoaraiosis with diffusion tensor MRI. Stroke 30 (2) , pp. 393-397. 10.1161/01.STR.30.2.393

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Information on the neuropathological changes underlying ischemic leukoaraiosis is only available postmortem, and there are limited data on histological appearances early in the disease. Diffusion tensor imaging allows determination of the directionality of diffusion, which is greater in the direction of white matter bundles. Therefore, the technique might be expected to show loss of anisotropy (directional diffusion) in leukoaraiosis. METHODS: Nine patients with ischemic leukoaraiosis (radiological leukoaraiosis and clinical lacunar stroke) and 10 age-matched controls were studied. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed, and maps of diffusion trace and fractional anisotropy were constructed. Mean values of trace and fractional anisotropy were determined in standard regions of the anterior and posterior white matter in both hemispheres. RESULTS: In all patients with ischemic leukoaraiosis, a characteristic abnormal pattern was found, with loss of anisotropy and increased trace in the white matter. For example, in the right anterior white matter mean (SD) trace/3 was 1.12 (0.33) x10(-3) mm2 s-1 in patients and 0.75 (0.11) in controls (P=0.001). In the same region, fractional anisotropy was 0.53 (0.11) in patients and 0.78 (0.09) in controls (P<0.001). Within the white matter regions, there was a strong negative correlation between mean diffusivity and anisotropy (r=-0.92, P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The characteristic pattern found on diffusion tensor imaging in this patient group is consistent with axonal loss and gliosis leading to impairment to and loss of directional diffusion. The "in vivo histological" information obtained may be useful in monitoring disease progression and in investigating the pathogenesis of the cognitive impairment that may be present.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: cerebrovascular disorders; leukoaraiosis; magnetic resonance imaging
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 19/02/2014).
Publisher: American Heart Association
ISSN: 0039-2499
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:15

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