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09 January 2018 : Animal Research

Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Syringomyelia in Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

Chao Zhang12ABEFG*, Kai Chen34CD, Xiuxin Han1DEFG, Jiayuanyuan Fu5CF, Patricia Douglas5EF, Anna Y. Morozova6AB, Maxim A. Abakumov2ABC, Ilya L. Gubsky2BC, Dejin Li7EG, Jin Guo7EG, Xuening Zhang4FG, Guowen Wang1AG, Vladimir P. Chekhonin26AG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907955

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: ANS177-182

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic syringomyelia (PTS) is a common disease after spinal cord injury (SCI). The present study was performed to evaluate the advantages of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in estimating SCI and prognosing PTS in SCI rats.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty rats were divided into 3 groups based on the extent of the individual SCI and PTS: a control group (n=10), a PTS group (n=8), and an SCI group (n=22). BBB tests were performed preoperatively and postoperatively at (1 d, 3 d, 5 d, 1 w, 2 w, 1 w, 2 w, 3 w, 4 w, 5 w, and 6 w). MRI T2 scanning was conducted postoperatively at (1 w, 2 w, 3 w, 4 w, 5 w, 6 w). DTI and diffusion tensor tractography were used for analyzing neuro-fiber changes after SCI.

RESULTS: BBB scoring showed no differences between the PTS group and SCI group (P<0.05). PTS was found in 8 rats after SCI. MRI showed PTS formation in 3 rats at 2 w after SCI, and 5 rats showed PTS formation at postoperative 3w after SCI. Compared with the control group, ADC showed significant increase in both the PTS group (P<0.05) and the SCI group (P<0.05), FA showed significant decreases in the PTS (P<0.05) and SCI (P<0.05) groups. Compared with the SCI group, the PTS group showed an increase in ADC, but no statistical difference was found in ADC (P>0.05). The PTS group showed a significant increase in FA (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of diffusion tensor imaging and diffusion tensor tractography has characteristics of high-sensitivity and quantitation for PTS prognosis. FA is predictive in the prognosis of PTS formation after SCI.

Keywords: diffusion tensor imaging, Spinal Cord Injuries, Syringomyelia

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