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J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Feb;7(2):320-5. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/4491.2757. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

The Corpus Callosum Wallerian Degeneration in the Unilateral Brain Tumors: Evaluation with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI).

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  • 1Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Henry Ford Health System , Detroit, MI 48202, USA .



The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether DTI could demonstrate the water diffusivity changes in the corpus callosum (CC), which were not visible on the morphologic imaging in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and brain metastases with no midline CC infiltration.


Twenty-seven patients with treatment naïve unilateral GBM and eleven patients with a solitary brain metastasis with no midline CC infiltration underwent DTI. Ten controls with normal brain MRI were also included. Based on the tensors, the principal diffusion directions, the anisotropy values, and the prior information about the diffusivity pattern in CC, a similarity measure was proposed. Subsequently, the CC was automatically divided into the Witelson subdivisions.


We observed significantly decreased fractional anisotropy values in all the regions of CC in the patients with GBM and metastases as compared to those in the controls. The mean diffusivity values showed a significant increase in all the regions of CC, except the splenium in patients with GBM and the isthmus in the patients with metastases, as compared to that in the controls respectively.


In conclusion, DTI is more sensitive than the morphologic MR imaging in the evaluation of changes within the CC, in brain tumours which do not infiltrate the CC. However, these changes of the DTI metrics in the CC are due to a Wallerian degeneration rather than a tumour infiltration, as was shown by our results, as similar changes were seen in the GBM as well as the non-infiltrating metastases patients.


Brain metastases; Corpus callosum; Diffusion tensor imaging; Glioblastoma multiforme; Wallerian degeneration

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