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Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Sep;16(3):111-9. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2009.07.002.

Diffusion imaging of congenital brain malformations.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Diffusion imaging is a magnetic resonance imaging modality that measures the microscopic molecular motion of water to yield information about brain structure. The technique has been used increasingly in recent years to investigate congenital brain malformations. This article aims to provide a brief overview of diffusion imaging, and to review recent advances in our understanding of congenital brain malformations because of diffusion imaging. The technique has been successfully applied to conditions ranging from rare hindbrain malformations, such as horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis, to conditions that are undetectable using conventional neuroimaging, such as grapheme-color synesthesia. Though diffusion imaging has already yielded considerable insight into the pathogenesis and clinical features of congenital malformations, recent advances in imaging techniques promise to provide much more extensive knowledge of these conditions in the future.

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