J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 69:269-272 doi:10.1136/jnnp.69.2.269
  • Short report

Diffusion tensor imaging can detect and quantify corticospinal tract degeneration after stroke

  1. David J Werring,
  2. Ahmed T Toosy,
  3. Christopher A Clark,
  4. Geoffrey JM Parker,
  5. Gareth J Barker,
  6. David H Miller,
  7. Alan J Thompson
  1. NMR Research Unit, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
  1. Professor AJ Thompsona.thompson{at}
  • Received 28 September 1999
  • Revised 18 January 2000
  • Accepted 12 April 2000


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fully characterises water molecule mobility in vivo, allowing an exploration of fibre tract integrity and orientation in the human brain. Using DTI this study demonstrates reduced fibre coherence (anisotropy) associated with cerebral infarction and in the corticospinal tract remote from the lesion, in five patients 2 to 6 months after ischaemic stroke. The study highlights the potential of DTI to detect and monitor the structural degeneration of fibre pathways, which may provide a better understanding of the pattern of clinical evolution after stroke.


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