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J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 2011 Jul;2(2):77-81. doi: 10.4103/0974-8237.100060.

Normal variation of diffusion tensor parameters of the spinal cord in healthy subjects at 3.0-Tesla.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City, Japan.

Abstract

AIMS:

The purposes of the present study were to clarify the normal variation and to determine the normal reference values of diffusion tensor (DT) parameters (mean diffusivity [MD] and fractional anisotropy [FA]) of the spinal cord in single-shot fast spin-echo-based sequence at 3.0-Tesla (3T).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Thirty healthy subjects (mean age = 44.2 years, range = 20-72 years) were enrolled for this study. Mean values of MD and FA in six spinal levels (C2/3, C3/4, C4/5, C5/6, C6/7, and C7/Th1) were measured. Mean values, variances, and distributions of the MD and FA in each spinal level were analyzed. Age-dependent change of MD and FA as well as correlation between MD and FA was also analyzed.

RESULTS:

At all spinal levels, the values can be considered to be Gaussian distribution in MD but not in FA. A significant statistical negative correlation was observed between aging and the values of MD (r = 0.429, P = 0.018), but insignificant between the values of FA (P = 0.234). A slight significant statistical negative correlation was observed between the values of MD and FA (r = 0.156, P = 0.037). One way repeated measures analysis of variance indicated the significant difference between the spinal levels in both MD (P = 0.003) and FA (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The analyzed data in the present study would be helpful for comparison when investigating the spinal condition of spinal disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion tensor imaging; fractional anisotropy; mean diffusivity; normal subjects; spinal cord

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