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Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography of the brachial plexus: feasibility and initial experience in neoplastic conditions

Viallon, Magalie
Published in Neuroradiology. 2010, vol. 52, no. 3, p. 237-245
Collection Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Abstract INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and potential clinical applications of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography in the normal and pathologic brachial plexus prospectively. METHODS: Six asymptomatic volunteers and 12 patients with symptoms related to the brachial plexus underwent DTI on a 1.5T system in addition to the routine anatomic plexus imaging protocol. Maps of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and of fractional anisotropy (FA), as well as tractography of the brachial plexus were obtained. Images were evaluated by two experienced neuroradiologists in a prospective fashion. Three patients underwent surgery, and nine patients underwent conservative medical treatment. RESULTS: Reconstructed DTI (17/18) were of good quality (one case could not be reconstructed due to artifacts). In all volunteers and in 11 patients, the roots and the trunks were clearly delineated with tractography. Mean FA and mean ADC values were as follows: 0.30+/-0.079 and 1.70+/-0.35 mm2/s in normal fibers, 0.22+/-0.04 and 1.49+/-0.49 mm2/s in benign neurogenic tumors, and 0.24+/-0.08 and 1.51+/-0.52 mm2/s in malignant tumors, respectively. Although there was no statistically significant difference in FA and ADC values of normal fibers and fibers at the level of pathology, tractography revealed major differences regarding fiber architecture. In benign neurogenic tumors (n=4), tractography revealed fiber displacement alone (n=2) or fiber displacement and encasement by the tumor (n=2), whereas in the malignant tumors, either fiber disruption/destruction with complete disorganization (n=6) or fiber displacement (n=1) were seen. In patients with fiber displacement alone, surgery confirmed the tractography findings, and excision was successful without sequelae. CONCLUSION: Our preliminary data suggest that DTI with tractography is feasible in a clinical routine setting. DTI may demonstrate normal tracts, tract displacement, deformation, infiltration, disruption, and disorganization of fibers due to tumors located within or along the brachial plexus, therefore, yielding additional information to the current standard anatomic imaging protocols.
Keywords AdultAgedAged, 80 and overAnisotropyBrachial Plexus/*pathologyDiffusion Tensor Imaging/*methodsFeasibility StudiesFemaleHumansImage Processing, Computer-AssistedMaleMiddle AgedNeoplasms/pathology/surgeryProspective Studies
PMID: 20054685
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Research group Groupe Becker Minerva (imagerie ORL) (683)
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VARGAS GOMEZ, Maria Isabel et al. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography of the brachial plexus: feasibility and initial experience in neoplastic conditions. In: Neuroradiology, 2010, vol. 52, n° 3, p. 237-245. doi: 10.1007/s00234-009-0643-3 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:21365

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Deposited on : 2012-05-23

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