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ItemWhite Matter Degeneration after Ischemic Stroke: A Longitudinal Diffusion Tensor Imaging StudyVisser, MM ; Yassi, N ; Campbell, BCV ; Desmond, PM ; Davis, SM ; Spratt, N ; Parsons, M ; Bivard, A (WILEY, 2019-01-01)BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Degeneration of gray matter and subcortical structures after ischemic stroke has been well described. However, little is known about white matter degeneration after stroke. It is unclear whether white matter degeneration occurs throughout the whole brain, or whether patterns of degeneration occur more in specific brain areas. METHODS: We prospectively collected National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with acute ischemic stroke within the first week after onset (baseline), and at 1 and 3 months. DTI was processed to produce maps of fractional anisotropy, apparent diffusion coefficients, and axial and radial diffusivity. DTI parameters in specified regions-of-interest corresponding to items on the NIHSS were calculated and changes over time were assessed using linear mixed-effect modeling. RESULTS: Seventeen patients were included in the study. Mean age (SD) was 71 (11.7) years, and median (IQR) baseline NIHSS 9 (5-13.3). Changes over time were observed in both visual cortices, contralesional primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, and superior temporal gyrus (P < .05). Changes in the ipsilesional motor cortex and inferior parietal lobule were only seen in patients with scores on the respective NIHSS-items (P < .05). No significant changes in global white matter diffusivity parameters were identified (P > .05). CONCLUSION: White matter changes after stroke may be localized rather than a global phenomenon.