Toward Accurate Diagnosis of White Matter Pathology Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Budde M, Song S, Cross A, Russell J, Kim J, Schmidt R, Liang H
The underlying pathological correlates of changes on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have not been adequately determined. We investigated injury to spinal cord white matter in two animal models to compare axial and radial diffusivities derived from DTI and histological markers of axon and myelin injury by registering the histological images to MRI and applying a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Decreased axial and increased radial diffusivity are sensitive and specific markers of axonal damage and demyelination, respectively. Although relative anisotropy is sensitive to the two types of injury, it is not specific for either axon or myelin injury.