White matter integrity assessed by diffusion tensor tractography in a patient with a large tumor mass but minimal clinical and neuropsychological deficits

Marco Bozzali, Sarah E. MacPherson, Mara Cercignani, William R. Crum, Tim Shallice, Jeremy H. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography and image registration were used to investigate a patient with a massive left-sided brain tumor, whose size was largely disproportionate to his subtle neurological deficits. MRI was obtained from the patient and his healthy identical twin, who acted as anatomical reference for DTI and as a control for quantitative measures. To compensate for the patient's altered anatomy, seed and way points for probabilistic tractography were drawn on the color-coded direction maps of the healthy twin. Registration, based on the combination of b0-images, T2-weighted and T1-weighted images, was used to identify the corresponding regions in the patient. The corticospinal tract (CST), the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), and the cingulum bundle (CB) showed displaced anatomy. A significant difference was found between fractional anisotropy distribution along the left SLF and CB, but not along the CST. These findings fit well with the patient's substantial preservation of his motor abilities, while abnormalities of the SLF and CB could explain the subtle but detectable cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012



  • Brain lesion
  • Cognition
  • DTI
  • Image registration
  • Tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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