Diffusion tensor imaging in anxiety disorders

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2012 Jun;14(3):197-202. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0273-z.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can be used to examine the structural integrity of regional white matter and to map white matter tracts. DTI studies have been performed in several psychiatric disorders, especially in those for which a developmental or a neuropsychiatric component was postulated. Thus far, the use of DTI has been very limited in panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, and somewhat more extensive in post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In most anxiety disorders, the results of DTI studies are in line with other structural and functional MRI findings and can be interpreted within the frameworks of existing models for the neurocircuitry of the various disorders. DTI findings could further enrich neurobiological models for anxiety disorders, although replication is often warranted, and studies in pediatric populations are lagging behind remarkably.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / pathology