Richard Alan Jones1, Binjian Sun1, Robert Clark Brown2, Laura Hayes1
Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) whose brains are normal on conventional MRI often demonstrate neurocognitive impairments. This study uses diffusion tensor imaging to demonstrate differences in the white matter between controls, SCD subjects with radiologically normal brains and SCD subjects with mild gliosis. Extensive changes in the white matter were found for the mean diffusivity with these changes being more widespread in the gliosis group. The majority of the significant changes in the fractional anisotropy were confined to the corpus callosum of the gliosis group. DTI appears to be a sensitive biomarker for assessing the severity of SCD.