Applications of diffusion-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI to white matter diseases - a review

NMR Biomed. 2002 Nov-Dec;15(7-8):570-7. doi: 10.1002/nbm.787.


This paper reviews the current applications of diffusion-weighted and diffusion tensor MRI in diseases of the brain white matter. The contribution that diffusion-weighted imaging has made to our understanding of white matter diseases is critically appraised. The quantitative nature of diffusion MRI is one of its major attractions; however, this is offset by the more advanced hardware required to collect diffusion-weighted images reliably, and the more complex processing to produce quantitative parametric diffusion images. With the now common availability of scanners equipped to perform echo-planar imaging, the acquisition of diffusion tensor images is sure to become more widespread and routine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / metabolism
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / pathology
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / metabolism
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / pathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases / metabolism*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology*
  • Diffusion
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / pathology*
  • Water / metabolism


  • Water