2020 Volume 4 Issue 4 Pages 305-313
Introduction: Many types of research are being carried out in the fields of understanding of the pathogenesis, early recognition, and improving the outcomes after spinal cord injury (SCI). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is one of the modalities used in vivo microstructural assessment of SCI. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the role of DTI imaging and fiber tractography in acute spinal injury with clinical profile and neurological outcome.
Methods: The study was carried out on twenty-five patients of acute spinal cord injury who presented within 48 hours of injury and completed minimum of six months follow-up.
Results: The mean age of patients was 37.32±13.31 years and male & female ratio of 18:7. Total MIS score was 91.64±6.0 initially which improved to 96.92±3.68 after 3 months and 99.4±1.35 after 6 months. Total SIS score was similar at all the time intervals i.e. 224±0. Maximum subjects 14 (56%) were classified into AIS C and 5 (20%) into AIS D whereas only 6 (24%) subjects were having no deficit (AIS E). At the end of 6 months, 13 (52%) subjects had no deficit (AIS E). Mean fractional anisotropy (FA) initially was 0.451 (± 0.120) but after 6 months, it increased to 0.482 (± 0.097) (p<0.001). The mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) initially was 3.13 (± 2.68) but after 6 months, it decreased to 3.06 (± 2.68) and this change was found to be statistically highly significant (p<0.001). Mean anisotropy index (AI) initially was 0.420 (± 0.245) but after 6 months, it increased to 0.430 (± 3.41) and this change was found to be statistically significant (p<0.01).
Conclusions: DTI is a sensitive tool to detect neurological damage in SCI and subsequent neurological recovery. FA correlated with ASIA impairment scale. It can be useful as an adjunct to conventional MRI for better evaluation and predicting prognosis in SCI patients.