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Abstract #3394

White Matter Damage in the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States: Further Insights from Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Virginia Newcombe1,2, Martin Coleman2,3, Justin Cross4, John Pickard2,5, Guy Williams2, David Menon1,3

1Division of Anaesthesia, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK; 2Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK; 3Cambridge Impaired Consciuosness Reasearch Group; 4Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge; 5Academic Neurosurgery Unit, University of Cambridge

A better understanding of variations in neuropathology between different etiologies of the vegetative and minimally conscious states may aid diagnosis, improve prognostication and help refine the selection of patients who may benefit from particular treatment regimes. In this study we used diffusion tensor imaging to elucidate the degree and location of whole brain white matter loss in patients with disorders of consciousness secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI) or ischaemic-hypoxic injury (IHI). While damage in the supratentorial compartment appears similar for the two groups, the TBI patients exhibited greater brainstem damage.