Diverging white matter trajectories in children after traumatic brain injury

Emily L. Dennis, Faisal Rashid, Monica U. Ellis, Talin Babikian, Roza M. Vlasova, Julio E. Villalon-Reina, Yan Jin, Alexander Olsen, Richard Mink, Christopher Babbitt, Jeffrey Johnson, Christopher C. Giza, Paul M. Thompson, Robert F. Asarnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine longitudinal trajectories of white matter organization in pediatric moderate/severe traumatic brain injury (msTBI) over a 12-month period. Methods: We studied 21 children (16 M/5 F) with msTBI, assessed 2-5 months postinjury and again 13-19 months postinjury, as well as 20 well-matched healthy control children. We assessed corpus callosum function through interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT), measured using event-related potentials, and related this to diffusion-weighted MRI measures of white matter (WM) microstructure. At the first time point, half of the patients with TBI had significantly slower IHTT (TBI-slow-IHTT, n = 11) and half were in the normal range (TBI-normal-IHTT, n = 10). Results: The TBI-normal-IHTT group did not differ significantly from healthy controls, either in WM organization in the chronic phase or in the longitudinal trajectory of WM organization between the 2 evaluations. In contrast, the WM organization of the TBI-slow-IHTT group was significantly lower than in healthy controls across a large portion of the WM. Longitudinal analyses showed that the TBI-slow-IHTT group experienced a progressive decline between the 2 evaluations in WM organization throughout the brain. Conclusions: We present preliminary evidence suggesting a potential biomarker that identifies a subset of patients with impaired callosal organization in the first months postinjury who subsequently experience widespread continuing and progressive degeneration in the first year postinjury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1399
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - 11 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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