Assessment of the diagnostic value of diffusion tensor imaging in patients with spinal cord compression: a meta-analysis


Braz J Med Biol Res




We investigated the diagnostic value of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) of magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with spinal cord compression (SCC) using a meta-analysis framework. Multiple scientific literature databases were exhaustively searched to identify articles relevant to this study. Mean values and standardized mean differences (SMDs) were calculated for the ADC and FA in normal and diseased tissues. The STATA version 12.0 software was used for statistical analysis. Of the 41 articles initially retrieved through database searches, 11 case-control studies were eligible for the meta-analysis and contained a combined total of 645 human subjects (394 patients with SCC and 251 healthy controls). All 11 studies reported data on FA, and 9 contained data related to the ADC. The combined SMDs of the ADC and FA showed that the ADC was significantly higher and the FA was lower in patients with SCC than in healthy controls. Subgroup analysis based on the b value showed higher ADCs in patients with SCC than in healthy controls at b values of both ≤500 and >500 s/mm2. In summary, the main findings of this meta-analysis revealed an increased ADC and decreased FA in patients with SCC, indicating that DTI is an important diagnostic imaging tool to assess patients suspected to have SCC.

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