Diffusion tensor imaging reveals white matter injury in a rat model of repetitive blast-induced traumatic brain injury.
Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) is one of the most common combat-related injuries seen in U.S. military personnel, yet relatively little is known about the underlying mechanisms of injury. In particular, the effects of the primary blast pressure wave are poorly understood. Animal models have proven invaluable for the study of primary bTBI, because it rarely occurs in isolation in human subjects. Even less is known about the effects of repeated primary blast wave exposure, but existing data suggest cumulative increases in brain damage with a second blast. MRI and, in particular, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), have become important tools for assessing bTBI in both clinical and preclinical settings. Computational statistical methods such as voxelwise analysis have shown promise in localizing and quantifying bTBI throughout the brain. In this study, we use voxelwise analysis of DTI to quantify white matter injury in a rat model of repetitive primary blast exposure. Our results show a significant increase in microstructural damage with a second blast exposure, suggesting that primary bTBI may sensitize the brain to subsequent injury.
Calabrese, E; Du, F; Garman, RH; Johnson, GA; Riccio, C; Tong, LC; Long, JB
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