Diffusion tensor imaging of the cervical spinal cord in children

Gunes Orman, Kevin Yuqi Wang, Ximin Li, Carol Thompson, Thierry A.G.M. Huisman, Izlem Izbudak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Obtaining fast, reliable, high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the pediatric cervical spinal cord (CSC) is challenging, given the multitude of technical limitations involved. Overcoming these limitations may further potentiate DTI as a valuable quantitative tool in evaluating the pediatric CSC. Methods: Sixteen patients (9 girls and 7 boys) with hypoxic brain injury, craniocervical junction malformations, and head trauma were included in this retrospective study. Region of interests were placed from C1–C2 through C7–T1 consecutively at the cervical intervertebral disc levels. DTI metrics were compared with a pediatric DTI database of healthy controls. Clinical background and outcomes were tabulated. Results: Patients with hypoxic brain injury, Chiari I and II malformations, and head trauma demonstrated lower fractional anisotropy values than that of healthy controls at certain cervical intervertebral disc levels. Conclusions: DTI may be a promising modality for providing additional information beyond that of conventional magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric central nervous system disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1245
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 27 2015


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Mean diffusivity
  • Pediatric
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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