Role of diffusion tensor imaging in the diagnosis and management of post-traumatic anosmia

Lilla Bonanno, Silvia Marino, Simona De Salvo, Rosella Ciurleo, Antonio Costa, Daniele Bruschetta, Demetrio Milardi, Galletti Francesco, Placido Bramanti, Fabrizia Caminiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


INTRODUCTION: Anosmia is a possible complication of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Psychometric and electrophysiological methods of olfaction measure and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are the tools to evaluate the post-traumatic olfactory loss. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) provides useful data for a better understanding of etiopathogenesis TBI-related anosmia, in particular the loss of neural connections and their eventual recovery over time.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study describes a case of TBI-related anosmia. The olfactory function was evaluated by Sniffin' Sticks Test (SST), Olfactory Event-Related Potentials (OERPs), MRI and DTI at baseline (T0) and after one year (T1).

RESULTS: At baseline, SST highlighted a functional anosmia. The OERPs showed the presence of a small N1-P2 complex. MRI confirmed the presence of a scarring involved in the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). DTI detected a reduction in the average length and the number of neuronal fibre pathways of right OFC. At T1, a recovery of olfactory function was confirmed by SST and OERPs.

CONCLUSION: While MRI images are unchanged from T0, DTI showed an increase in average length and number of fibre tracts in the right OFC. DTI could be a valid tool to display a post-traumatic loss of neural connections and to better understand TBI-recovery mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 17 2017


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