Deviation of fiber tracts in the vicinity of brain lesions: Evaluation by diffusion tensor imaging

Yaniv Assaf*, Pazit Pianka, Pia Rotshtein, Michal Sigal, Talma Hendler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is used to characterize the diffusion properties of deviated white matter caused by brain tumors. DTI was recently shown to be very helpful in delineating white matter both within brain lesions and surrounding them. Displacement of white matter fibers may be one of the consequences of tumor growth adjacent to white matter. The combination of white matter mapping with DTI and gray matter mapping using functional MRI, in some cases, facilitated assessment of the relation between the shifted cortical areas and the corresponding white matter tracts. We found that the fractional anisotropy extracted from DTI is increased by 38% in areas of non-edematous shifted white matter fibers. By contrast, trace apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in those areas were found to be similar to contralateral side and normal control values. Analysis of the three diffusion tensor eigenvalues revealed that the increase in the fractional anisotropy is a result of two processes. The first is the increase in the diffusion parallel to the fibers - λ1 (by 18%), and the second is the decrease in the diffusion perpendicular to fibers - λ3 (by 34%) as compared with the contralateral side. These opposing changes cause an increase in the diffusion anisotropy but no change in the trace ADC. It is suggested that the pressure caused by the tumor may lead to an increase in white matter fiber tension, thus causing an increase in λ1. On the other hand, the same pressure causes increased fiber density per unit area, leading to a higher degree of restricted diffusion in the extracellular space and, hence, a reduction in λ3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2003


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