Diffusion Tensor Imaging

DTI is a relatively new and very promising technique that uses MRI to measure the three dimensional diffusion of water molecules in tissue. Only through different evaluation techniques these time consuming and complex data sets can be visualized.

By using DTI, brain and spinal cord injuries can be shown earlier than by a normal MRI.

Unfortunately DTI is mainly used in research, but some hospitals already offer DTI for the early detection of strokes. In addition, there are also a few private providers, but DTI of the spinal cord is hardly carried out at the moment.

In my opinion, DTI is the future of diagnosing spinal cord damage in cervical spine instabilities.

DTI image of my cervical spine

DTI image of my cervical spine



Mac Donald CL, Dikranian K, Bayly P, Holtzman D, Brody D. Diffusion tensor imaging reliably detects experimental traumatic axonal injury and indicates approximate time of injury. The Journal of neuroscience. 2007 Oct 31;27(44):11869-76.

Ying J, Zhou X, Zhu M, Zhou Y, Huang K, Zhou B, Teng H. The Contribution of Diffusion Tensor Imaging to Quantitative Assessment on Multilevel Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy. European neurology. 2016 Feb 2;75(1-2):67-74.

Ellingson BM, Salamon N, Hardy AJ, Holly LT. Prediction of neurological impairment in cervical spondylotic myelopathy using a combination of diffusion MRI and proton MR spectroscopy. PloS one. 2015 Oct 2;10(10):e0139451.