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Clinical Use of DTI in Neurosurgery

Forensic courtroom doctors hired by the defense to attack the scientific admissibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) often argue that DTI is only acceptable in research and has no clinical use.  As such, DTI should not be admitted in civil actions. 

A new article in the latest issue of Neurosurgical Focus describes the use of DTI at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who are using DTI to create a “virtual intra operative map and produce 3D images of white matter tracks during the removal of cancerous tissue, or glioma, responsible for motor, visual, and language function.” 

Surgery for removal of malignant tissue often compromises healthy tissue.  The use of 3D DTI, will allow neurosurgeons to visualize the white matter tracks, thus assisting them in only removing malignant tissue. 

This is a very exciting new development with the use of diffusion tensor imaging.  

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