J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 68:501-503 doi:10.1136/jnnp.68.4.501
  • Short report

Diffusion tensor imaging demonstrates deviation of fibres in normal appearing white matter adjacent to a brain tumour

  1. U C Wieshmanna,
  2. M R Symmsa,
  3. G J M Parkerb,
  4. C A Clarkb,
  5. L Lemieuxa,
  6. G J Barkerb,
  7. S D Shorvona
  1. aEpilepsy Research Group, Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N3BG, UK, bNMR Research Unit
  1. Dr U Wieshmann, National Society for Epilepsy, MRI Unit, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross, Bucks SL9 ORJ, UK emailuwiesh{at}
  • Received 16 September 1999
  • Revised 23 November 1999
  • Accepted 25 November 1999


the objective was to study fibre orientation in the cerebral white matter of a patient with a brain tumour using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

 A patient with a mild left hemiparesis and a tumour in the right frontal lobe and 20 healthy volunteers were scanned with a DTI sequence. The scans were spatially normalised and the fibre orientation in the patient compared with the fibre orientation in normal controls.

 DTI disclosed a change of the orientation of fibres in the patient compared with normal controls. In the normal appearing white matter adjacent to the tumour fibres deviated from the normal superior inferior orientation in the corona radiata by about 30o. This finding was consistent with a displacement by distant mass effect rather than a destruction of fibres, in agreement with the neurological examination.

 In conclusion, DTI demonstrated a deviation of fibres in normal appearing white matter adjacent to a tumour. The technique will improve understanding of the effects of structural abnormalities on fibres. This will assist the interpretation of clinical findings and functional imaging studies and guide neurosurgical interventions.


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