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Clinical Applications of Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Author(s): Sona Saksena | Ram K.S. Rathore | Rakesh K. Gupta

Journal: Magnetic Resonance Insights
ISSN 1178-623X

Volume: 2;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2008;
Original page

During the last decade, advances in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have led to the design of numerous innovative imaging techniques. These techniques have not only facilitated structural visualization of anatomy, but also have provided a wealth of functional information regarding biological processes. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is one such MRI technique that has generated tremendous amount of interest both in the clinical and laboratory fields. DTI attempts to analyze the magnitude and orientation of random microscopic motion of water molecules in brain tissue. It is based upon the phenomenon of water diffusion known as Brownian motion. This technique pro- vides details on tissue microstructure and organization well beyond the usual image resolution. With diffusion tensor MR imaging, diffusion anisotropy can be quantified and subtle white matter changes not normally seen on conventional MRI can be detected. These features have encouraged scientists to evaluate the integrity and direction of the fiber tracts in various pathological conditions using DTI. Tissue maladies studied by DTI in this review include cerebral ischemia and wallerian degeneration, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, metabolic disorders, infections and brain tumors. We have only included the common clinical conditions to keep this review precise.
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