The past decade has seen an increase in the number of articles reporting the use of DTI to detect brain abnormalities in patients with traumatic brain injury. DTI is well-suited to the interrogation of white matter microstructure, the most important location of pathology in TBI. Additionally, studies in animal models have demonstrated the correlation of DTI findings and TBI pathology. One hundred articles met the inclusion criteria for this quantitative literature review. Despite significant variability in sample characteristics, technical aspects of imaging, and analysis approaches, the consensus is that DTI effectively differentiates patients with TBI and controls, regardless of the severity and timeframe following injury. Furthermore, many have established a relationship between DTI measures and TBI outcomes. However, the heterogeneity of specific outcome measures used limits interpretation of the literature. Similarly, few longitudinal studies have been performed, limiting inferences regarding the long-term predictive utility of DTI. Larger longitudinal studies, using standardized imaging, analysis approaches, and outcome measures will help realize the promise of DTI as a prognostic tool in the care of patients with TBI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology