Mild hypothermia has been shown to exert apparent neuroprotective effects in animal models of diffuse axonal injury. However, the clinical efficacy of mild hypothermia is controversial. Thus, a noninvasive, accurate, and objective technique is urgently required to verify the effect of mild hypothermia in diffuse axonal injury and its prognosis.
Fractional anisotropy values in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can quantitatively reflect the consistency of nerve fibers after brain damage, where higher values generally indicate less damage to nerve fibers.
Therefore, Guojie Jing and co-workers from Huizhou First People's Hospital in China hypothesized that DTI could be used to evaluate the effect of mild hypothermia on diffuse axonal injury.
In their study, fractional anisotropy value served as an indicator for quantitative assessment of diffuse axonal injury severity and postoperative recovery. They found the difference in average fractional anisotropy value for each region of interest before and after mild hypothermia was 1.32.36 times higher than the value in the normothermia group.
Quantitative assessment of DTI indicates that mild hypothermia therapy may be beneficial for patients with diffuse axonal injury. The relevant findings have been published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 2, 2014).