Diffusion-weighted imaging: Basic concepts and application in cerebral stroke and head trauma

Thierry A G M Huisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the brain represents a new imaging technique that extends imaging from depiction of neuroanatomy to the level of function and physiology. DWI measures a fundamentally different physiological parameter compared with conventional MRI. Image contrast is related to differences in the diffusion rate of water molecules rather than to changes in total tissue water. DWI can reveal pathology in cases where conventional MRI remains unremarkable. DWI has proven to be highly sensitive in the early detection of acute cerebral ischemia and seems promising in the evaluation of traumatic brain injury. DWI can differentiate between lesions with decreased and increased diffusion. In addition, full-tensor DWI can evaluate the microscopic architecture of the brain, in particular white matter tracts, by measuring the degree and spatial distribution of anisotropic diffusion within the brain. This article reviews the basic concepts of DWI and its application in cerebral ischemia and traumatic brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2283-2297
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Radiology
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Craniocerebral Trauma
Stroke
Brain Ischemia
Neuroanatomy
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Water
Brain
Neuroimaging
Pathology

Keywords

  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Fractional anisotrophy
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Diffusion-weighted imaging : Basic concepts and application in cerebral stroke and head trauma. / Huisman, Thierry A G M.

In: European Radiology, Vol. 13, No. 10, 01.10.2003, p. 2283-2297.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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