Faith H. Reece1, Nyoman D. Kurniawan2, Gary J. Cowin2, Marc J. Ruitenberg1, 3
1School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 3The Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Following spinal cord injury (SCI), various cellular and molecular events worsen the primary damage by compromising nearby neurons that were originally spared. This study utilised diffusion tensor imaging (16.4T Bruker NMR scanner) to evaluate secondary injury development in a mouse model of contusive SCI. In the spared white matter, fractional anisotropy and axial diffusivity decreased while transverse diffusivity increased with time and proximity to the lesion. Cord integrity was most compromised at the dorsal columns whereas the ventral and lateral funiculi progressively degenerated. Therapeutic intervention designed to counteract secondary degeneration would be most efficient 2 hours-1 day post-injury.