Utility of Diffusion Basis Spectrum Imaging in Quantifying Baseline Disease Severity and Prognosis of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to assess the association between diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) measures and cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) clinical assessments at baseline and two-year follow-up. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Despite advancements in diffusion-weighted imaging, few studies have examined associations between diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers and CSM-specific clinical domains at baseline and long-term follow-up. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A single-center prospective cohort study enrolled 50 CSM patients who underwent surgical decompression and 20 controls from 2018 to 2020. At initial evaluation, all patients underwent diffusion-weighted MRI acquisition, followed by DTI and DBSI analyses. Diffusion-weighted MRI metrics assessed white matter integrity by fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and fiber fraction. To improve estimations of intra-axonal anisotropic diffusion, DBSI measures intra-/extra-axonal fraction and intra-axonal axial diffusivity. DBSI also evaluates extra-axonal isotropic diffusion by restricted and nonrestricted fraction. Clinical assessments were performed at baseline and two-year follow-up and included the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA); 36-Item Short Form Survey physical component summary (SF-36 PCS); SF-36 mental component summary; neck disability index; myelopathy disability index; and disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand. Pearson correlation coefficients were computed to compare associations between DTI/DBSI and clinical measures. A False Discovery Rate correction was applied for multiple comparisons testing. RESULTS: At baseline presentation, of 36 correlations analyzed between DTI metrics and CSM clinical measures, only DTI fractional anisotropy showed a positive correlation with SF-36 PCS ( r =0.36, P =0.02). In comparison, there were 30/81 (37%) significant correlations among DBSI and clinical measures. Increased DBSI axial diffusivity, intra-axonal axial diffusivity, intra-axonal fraction, restricted fraction, and extra-axonal anisotropic fraction were associated with worse clinical presentation (decreased mJOA; SF-36 PCS/mental component summary; and increased neck disability index; myelopathy disability index; disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand). At latest follow-up, increased preoperative DBSI intra-axonal axial diffusivity and extra-axonal anisotropic fraction were significantly correlated with improved mJOA. CONCLUSIONS: This findings demonstrate that DBSI measures may reflect baseline disease burden and long-term prognosis of CSM as compared with DTI. With further validation, DBSI may serve as a noninvasive biomarker following decompressive surgery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, JK; Sun, P; Jayasekera, D; Greenberg, JK; Javeed, S; Dibble, CF; Blum, J; Song, C; Song, S-K; Ray, WZ

Published Date

  • December 15, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 24

Start / End Page

  • 1687 - 1693

PubMed ID

  • 35969006

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9712150

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-1159

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004456


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States