We applied multislice, whole-brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to two patients with anaplastic astrocytoma. Data were analyzed using DTI-based, color-coded images and a 3-D tract reconstruction technique for the study of altered white matter anatomy. Each tumor was near two major white matter tracts, namely, the superior longitudinal fasciculus and the corona radiata. Those tracts were identified using the color-coded maps, and spatial relationships with the tumors were characterized. In one patient the tumor displaced adjacent white matter tracts, whereas in the other it infiltrated the superior longitudinal fasciclus without displacement of white matter. DTI provides new information regarding the detailed relationship between tumor growth and nearby white matter tracts, which may be useful for preoperative planning.
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