Volume 15, Issue 7-8 p. 543-552
Review Article
Free Access

Diffusion tensor imaging of normal and injured developing human brain - a technical review

J. Neil

Corresponding Author

J. Neil

Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St Louis, MO 63110, USA

Division of Pediatric Neurology, St Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, St Louis, MO 63110, USA

Department of Radiology, Washington University, School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St Louis, MO 63110, USASearch for more papers by this author
J. Miller

J. Miller

Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St Louis, MO 63110, USA

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P. Mukherjee

P. Mukherjee

Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, St Louis, MO 63110, USA

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P. S. Hüppi

P. S. Hüppi

Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, University Hospitals of Geneva, 6 rue Willy-Donze, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland

Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA

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First published: 05 December 2002
Citations: 329

Abstract

The application of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to the evaluation of developing brain remains an area of active investigation. This review focuses on the changes in DTI parameters which accompany both brain maturation and injury. The two primary pieces of information available from DTI studies—water apparent diffusion coefficient and diffusion anisotropy measures—change dramatically during development, reflecting underlying changes in tissue water content and cytoarchitecture. DTI parameters also change in response to brain injury. In this context, not only does DTI offer the possibility of detecting injury earlier than conventional imaging methods, but also appears more sensitive to disruption of white matter than any other imaging method. DTI offers unique insight into brain injury and maturation, and does so in a fashion that can be readily applied in a clinical setting. Copyright ­© 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Abbreviations used:

  • DTI
  • diffusion tensor imaging

  • PVL
  • periventricular leukomalacia