Magnetic Resonance (MR) Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is a rapidly evolving technology that enables the visualization of neural fiber bundles, or white matter (WM) tracts. There are numerous neurosurgical applications for MR DTI including: (1) Tumor grading and staging; (2) Pre-surgical planning (determination of resectability, determination of surgical approach, identification of WM tracts at risk); (3) Intraoperative navigation (tumor resection that spares WM damage, epilepsy resection that spares WM damage, accurate location of deep brain stimulation structures); (4) Post-operative assessment and monitoring (identification of WM damage, identification of tumor recurrence). Limitations of MR DTI include difficulty tracking small and crossing WM tracts, lack of standardized data acquisition and post-processing techniques, and practical equipment, software, and timing considerations. Overall, MR DTI is a useful tool for planning, performing, and following neurosurgical procedures, and has the potential to significantly improve patient care. Technological improvements and increased familiarity with DTI among clinicians are next steps.
Hirsch, BS, Daniel D.; Zussman, BS, Benjamin M.; Flanders, MD, Adam E.; and Sharan, MD, Ashwini D.
"Neurosurgical Applications of Magnetic Resonance Diffusion Tensor Imaging,"
JHN Journal: Vol. 7
, Article 2.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jhnj/vol7/iss1/2