A preliminary report of cerebral white matter microstructural changes associated with adolescent sports concussion acutely and subacutely using diffusion tensor imaging

Abstract

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has demonstrated its utility in detecting microscopic post-concussion cerebral white matter structural changes, which are not routinely evident on conventional neuroimaging modalities. In this study, we compared 10 adolescents with sports concussion (SC) to 12 orthopedically-injured (OI) individuals within 96 h and three months post injury to 12 typically-developing (TD) participants using DTI and volumetric analyses. In terms of volume, no group differences were noted between SC, OI and TD groups at both 96 h and three months post concussion. Results did not show significant differences between SC, OI, and TD groups for both fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in all regions of interest within 96 h post concussion. However, at three months post-injury, the SC group exhibited significantly lower FA than the TD group in various regions of interest. In terms of ADC, significant group differences between SC and TD groups were found in some regions, with SC group having higher ADC than TD. No group differences for FA and ADC were noted between SC and OI groups at three months post-injury. However, several moderate effect sizes on between-group analyses were noted such that FA was lower and ADC was higher in SC relative to OI. Longitudinally, the SC group demonstrated decreased FA and increased ADC in some areas. The findings highlight the fact that the brain continues to change during the post-injury recovery period, and raises the possibility that adverse changes may result from the neurometabolic cascade that purportedly ensues following SC. DTI may potentially be used to characterize the nature of brain changes that occur following sports-related concussions.

DOI: 10.1007/s11682-017-9752-5

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Cite this paper

@article{Wu2017APR, title={A preliminary report of cerebral white matter microstructural changes associated with adolescent sports concussion acutely and subacutely using diffusion tensor imaging}, author={Trevor C. Wu and Tricia L. Merkley and Elisabeth A. Wilde and Amanda B Barnes and Xiaoqi Li and Zili Chu and Stephen R. McCauley and Jill V. Hunter and Harvey S. Levin}, journal={Brain Imaging and Behavior}, year={2017}, pages={1-12} }