In this study, we aimed to (1) identify white matter (WM) deficits underlying the consciousness level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and (2) evaluate the relationship between DTI metrics and clinical measures of the consciousness level in DOC patients. With a cohort of 8 comatose, 8 unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and 14 minimally conscious state patients and 25 patient controls, we performed group comparisons of the DTI metrics in 48 core WM regions of interest (ROIs), and examined the clinical relevance using correlation analysis. We identified multiple abnormal WM ROIs in DOC patients compared with normal controls, and the DTI metrics in these ROIs were significantly correlated with clinical measures of the consciousness level. Therefore, our findings suggested that multiple WM tracts are involved in the impaired consciousness levels in DOC patients and demonstrated the clinical relevance of DTI for DOC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 神經科學 (全部)