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Case Rep Med. 2013;2013:321496. doi: 10.1155/2013/321496. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Clinical utility of diffusion tensor imaging and fibre tractography for evaluating diffuse axonal injury with hemiparesis.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tohoku Employees' Pension Welfare Hospital, 1-12-1 Fukumuro, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983-8512, Japan.


Although diffuse axonal injury (DAI) frequently manifests as cognitive and/or motor disorders, abnormal brain findings are generally undetected by conventional imaging techniques. Here we report the case of a patient with DAI and hemiparesis. Although conventional MRI revealed no abnormalities, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and fibre tractography (FT) revealed the lesion speculated to be responsible for hemiparesis. A 37-year-old woman fell down the stairs, sustaining a traumatic injury to the head. Subsequently, she presented with mild cognitive disorders and left hemiparesis. DTI fractional anisotropy revealed changes in the right cerebral peduncle, the right posterior limb of the internal capsule, and the right corona radiata when compared with the corresponding structures observed on the patient's left side and in healthy controls. On FT evaluation, the right corticospinal tract (CST) was poorly visualised as compared with the left CST as well as the CST in healthy controls. These findings were considered as evidence that the patient's left hemiparesis stemmed from DAI-induced axonal damage in the right CST. Thus, DTI and FT represent useful techniques for the evaluation of patients with DAI and motor disorders.

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