Correlation of DTI metrics in the wall and cavity of brain abscess with histology and immunohistochemistry

NMR Biomed. 2010 Apr;23(3):262-9. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1448.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was performed in eight patients with brain abscess (BA). The aim of this study was to see the difference in the relationship between intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) expression and DTI metrics measured in vivo in the wall and cavity of BA and its possible explanation vis-à-vis histology and immunohistochemistry. Neuroinflammatory molecules (NMs) were quantified from BA cavity aspirate of the patients and quantitative immunohistochemical analysis was performed for ICAM-1 and LFA-1 in the BA wall, showing maximal positive staining and correlated with DTI metrics. The fractional anisotropy (FA) significantly increased while mean diffusivity and spherical anisotropy significantly decreased in the BA wall compared to the BA cavity. In the BA wall, FA and linear anisotropy (CL) showed a significant positive correlation with ICAM-1 and LFA-1 expression whereas FA and planar anisotropy positively correlated with NMs quantified from aspirated pus respectively. Higher FA values in the BA wall compared to BA cavity, even when ICAM-1 and LFA-1 were expressed only in the macrophages and not in the collagen fibers, suggests that a combination of both concentric layers of collagen fibers as well as neutrophils and macrophages provide structural orientation and are responsible for increased FA. In the BA wall, increased CL was found compared to the cavity, indicating the presence of concentrically laid collagen fibers responsible for the diffusion of water molecules in the direction parallel to the collagen fibers. We conclude that in the BA, different mechanisms are operative for the changes in the DTI metrics in the wall and cavity; these conclusions are validated by histology and immunohistochemistry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain Abscess / metabolism
  • Brain Abscess / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / metabolism
  • Male


  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1