Article Text


Research paper
Diffusion tensor imaging studies of mild traumatic brain injury: a meta-analysis
  1. Yuta Aoki1,2,
  2. Ryota Inokuchi1,3,
  3. Masataka Gunshin1,
  4. Naoki Yahagi1,3,
  5. Hiroshi Suwa2
  1. 1Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, The University of Tokyo Hospital, Bunkyou, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation, Ebara Hospital, Ota, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyou, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yuta Aoki, Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Treatment Corporation, Ebara Hospital, Ota, Tokyo 145-0065, Japan; youyouryuta{at}


Objectives To assess the possibility that diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can detect white matter damage in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients via systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods DTI studies that compared mTBI patients and controls were searched using MEDLINE, Web of Science, and EMBASE, (1980 through April 2012).

Results A comprehensive literature search identified 28 DTI studies, of which 13 independent DTI studies of mTBI patients were eligible for the meta-analysis. Random effect model demonstrated significant fractional anisotropy (FA) reduction in the corpus callosum (CC) (p=0.023, 95% CIs −0.466 to −0.035, 280 mTBIs and 244 controls) with no publication bias and minimum heterogeneity, and a significant increase in mean diffusivity (MD) (p=0.015, 95% CIs 0.062 to 0.581, 154 mTBIs and 100 controls). Meta-analyses of the subregions of the CC demonstrated in the splenium FA was significantly reduced (p=0.025, 95% CIs −0.689 to −0.046) and MD was significantly increased (p=0.013, 95% CIs 0.113 to 0.950). FA was marginally reduced in the midbody (p=0.099, 95% CIs −0.404 to 0.034), and no significant change in FA (p=0.421, 95% CIs −0.537 to 0.224) and MD (p=0.264, 95% CIs −0.120 to 0.438) in the genu of the CC.

Conclusions Our meta-analysis revealed the posterior part of the CC was more vulnerable to mTBI compared with the anterior part, and suggested the potential utility of DTI to detect white matter damage in the CC of mTBI patients.

  • Corpus callosum
  • fractional anisotropy
  • human
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Dr KH and Dr KK had let us share SD of FA values in their study. Dr AM had let us share mean and SD of FA values in their study.

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