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J Stroke. 2016 Jan;18(1):50-9. doi: 10.5853/jos.2015.01186. Epub 2016 Jan 29.

Prediction of Upper Limb Motor Recovery after Subacute Ischemic Stroke Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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1
Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

Abstract

Early evaluation of the pyramidal tract using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is a prerequisite to decide the optimal treatment or to assess appropriate rehabilitation. The early predictive value of DTI for assessing motor and functional recovery in ischemic stroke (IS) has yielded contradictory results. The purpose is to systematically review and summarize the current available literature on the value of Fractional Anisotropy (FA) parameter of the DTI in predicting upper limb motor recovery after sub-acute IS. MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from January 1, 1950, to July 31, 2015, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references. Correlation between FA and upper limb motor recovery measure was done. Heterogeneity was examined using Higgins I-squared, Tau-squared. Summary of correlation coefficient was determined using Random Effects model. Out of 166 citations, only eleven studies met the criteria for inclusion in the systematic review and six studies were included in the meta-analysis. A random effects model revealed that DTI parameter FA is a significant predictor for upper limb motor recovery after sub-acute IS [Correlation Coefficient=0.82; 95% Confidence Interval-0.66 to 0.90, P value<0.001]. Moderate heterogeneity was observed (Tau-squared=0.12, I-squared=62.14). The studies reported so far on correlation between DTI and upper limb motor recovery are few with small sample sizes. This meta-analysis suggests strong correlation between DTI parameter FA and upper limb motor recovery. Well-designed prospective trials embedded with larger sample size are required to establish these findings.

KEYWORDS:

Diffusion tensor imaging; Diffusion tensor tractography; Hemiparesis; Ischemic stroke; Prediction; Upper limb recovery

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