12 March 2018 Diffusion tensor imaging of the spine in pediatric patients
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Abstract
Quantitative imaging of the human spinal cord may provide information for diagnosis and prognosis of multiple pathologies. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the spinal cord in pediatric populations may offer quantitative indices to assess pathologies such as Chiari I malformation, spinal dysraphic defects including myelomeningocele, and tethered cord. We obtained DTI of the spine in 19 pediatric patients at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. 14 patients were identified as normal, and 5 patients were diagnosed with neurological disorders localized to the spinal cord, including Chiari I, tethered cord, and an intra-spinal tumor. The ages ranged 1 to 16 years old (mean age: 7 years, SD: 4 years). Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) were calculated from DTI and spinal cord volumes of interest were assessed. Data from control patients were used to define the range of normal values, and patients with diagnosed disorders affecting the cord were compared against this normal range. DTI data showed significant differences (p<0.05) in FA, AD, and RD between the conus medularis and thoracolumbar cord. Patients with tethered cord demonstrated higher FA, MD, and AD in the conus, and higher AD in the in thoracolumbar cord. The Chiari I patient had higher MD and AD in cervical cord. Whereas, the spinal tumor patient demonstrated no significant trends in the cervical cord.
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Bhavesh Ramkorun, Samantha By, Bryson Reynolds, Seth Smith, Patrick Couture, Aashim Bhatia, "Diffusion tensor imaging of the spine in pediatric patients", Proc. SPIE 10578, Medical Imaging 2018: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 1057827 (12 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2292832; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2292832
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