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Prediction of Motor Recovery after Stroke by Assessment of Corticospinal Tract Wallerian Degeneration Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Aim of the Study To predict motor recovery after stroke by detection of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fractional anisotropy (FA) changes of corticospinal tract (CST) and correlate findings with clinical scores to provide more effective treatment and rehabilitation.
Subjects and Methods Thirty patients with cerebral stroke were enrolled and underwent conventional magnetic resonance imaging and DTI at admission and 1 month after stroke. Mean diffusivity (MD), FA, FA ratio (rFA), and fiber number (FN) values of CST were calculated at the pons at admission and after 1 month of stroke. Three-dimensional reconstruction of bilateral CST and the structural changes of fibrous bands were observed. Severity of limb weakness was assessed by using the motor sub-index scores of the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at admission, and after 1, 6, and 9 months for severity of limb weakness.
Results The mean age of our patients was 61.32 ± 4.34 years, 17/30 (56.6%) were females, and 13/30 (43.4%) were males. In our study, 18/30 (60%) were hypertensive, 19/30 (63.3%) were diabetic, and 12/30 (40%) were smokers. A significant negative correlation was found between rFA and FN in the ipsilateral CST of the cerebral infarction at the rostral part of pons after 1 month of infarction and NIHSS score at 6 months (r = 0.377, p = 0.04 and r = 0.237, p = 0.02, respectively). However, a positive insignificant correlation was found between MD and NIHSS (r = 0.345, p = 0.635). The initial NIHSS score at the time of injury was 19.2 ± 4.3, which changed to 7.9 ± 2.4, 4.6 ± 1.9, and 3.3 ± 1.4 at 1, 6, and 9 months, respectively.
Conclusion DTI is a sensitive tool for early detection of Wallerian degeneration in the CST after stroke, and can predict motor performance to provide effective treatment and rehabilitation to improve quality of life.
Keywordscorticospinal tract - diffusion tensor imaging - fractional anisotropy - stroke - Wallerian degeneration
31 May 2021 (online)
© 2021. Indian Radiological Association. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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