Applications of diffusion-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI to white matter diseases – a review

Authors

  • Mark A. Horsfield,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Medical Physics, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
    • Division of Medical Physics, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
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  • Derek K. Jones

    1. Section for Old Age Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK
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Abstract

This paper reviews the current applications of diffusion-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI in diseases of the brain white matter. The contribution that diffusion-weighted imaging has made to our understanding of white matter diseases is critically appraised. The quantitative nature of diffusion MRI is one of its major attractions; however, this is offset by the more advanced hardware required to collect diffusion-weighted images reliably, and the more complex processing to produce quantitative parametric diffusion images. With the now common availability of scanners equipped to perform echo-planar imaging, the acquisition of diffusion tensor images is sure to become more widespread and routine. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Abbreviations used:
AD

Alzheimer's disease

ADC

apparent diffusion coefficient

ALD

adrenoleukodystrophy

ALS

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

CADASIL

cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy

CJD

Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease

CNS

central nervous system

CT

computerised tomography

DTI

diffusion tensor imaging

DW

diffusion-weighted

EPI

echo planar imaging

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

MMSE

mini-mental state examination

MR

magnetic resonance

MRI

magnetic resonance imaging

MS

multiple sclerosis

MTR

magnetisation transfer ratio

NAWM

normal-appearing white matter

PP

primary progressive

RR

relapsing-remitting

SP

secondary progressive

WM

white matter

Ancillary