, Volume 260, Issue 11, pp 2876-2883
Date: 04 Sep 2013

Analysis of high-voltage electrical spinal cord injury using diffusion tensor imaging

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The aim of this study was to investigate spinal cord injury (SCI) on the basis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with high-voltage electrical injury. We recruited eight high-voltage electrical injury patients and eight healthy subjects matched for age and sex. DTI and central motor conduction time were acquired in both the patient and control groups. We obtained DTI indices according to the spinal cord levels (from C2 to C7) and cross-section locations (anterior, lateral, and posterior). Fractional anisotrophy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) were compared between the two groups; additionally, they were compared in relation to spinal cord level and cross-section location. In the patient group relative to the control group, the FA value decreased and the MD and RD values increased in all of the regions of interest (ROI) with statistical significance (p < 0.05). In the patient group, particularly in the ROIs of the anterior spinal cord compared with the lateral and posterior spinal cords, the FA value decreased with statistical significance (p < 0.05). The DTI indices did not differ by level. DTI revealed the change of diffusion in the spinal cords of patients with high-voltage electrical injury, and corroborated the pathophysiology, myelinopathy and typical anterior spinal cord location of high-voltage electrical SCI already reported in the literature.