Maurits P.A. van Meer1,2, Willem M. Otte1,2, Kajo van der Marel1, Annette van der Toorn1, J. W. Berkelbach van der Sprenkel2, Rick M. Dijkhuizen1
1Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; 2Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
DTI may inform on alterations in brain connectivity associated with neuroplasticity. Unbiased whole brain assessment with tract-based spatial statistics analysis (TBSS) was used to determine changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) on high resolution maps of ex vivo post-stroke rat brains. A significant reduction in FA in ipsilesional white matter was detected in 10-weeks post-stroke brains. Ipsi- and contralesional medial corpus callosum showed a significant elevation of FA compared to age-matched controls. These results show that high resolution ex vivo DTI in combination with TBSS analysis allows detailed assessment of degenerative and reorganizational changes in white matter integrity after stroke.