White Matter Deficits Underlying the Impaired Consciousness Level in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness

Xuehai Wu, Jiaying Zhang, Zaixu Cui, Weijun Tang, Chunhong Shao, Jin Hu, Jianhong Zhu, Yao Zhao, Lu Lu, Gang Chen, Georg Northoff, Gaolang Gong, Ying Mao, Yong He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we aimed to (1) identify white matter (WM) deficits underlying the consciousness level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and (2) evaluate the relationship between DTI metrics and clinical measures of the consciousness level in DOC patients. With a cohort of 8 comatose, 8 unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and 14 minimally conscious state patients and 25 patient controls, we performed group comparisons of the DTI metrics in 48 core WM regions of interest (ROIs), and examined the clinical relevance using correlation analysis. We identified multiple abnormal WM ROIs in DOC patients compared with normal controls, and the DTI metrics in these ROIs were significantly correlated with clinical measures of the consciousness level. Therefore, our findings suggested that multiple WM tracts are involved in the impaired consciousness levels in DOC patients and demonstrated the clinical relevance of DTI for DOC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-678
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience Bulletin
Issue number4
Early online dateJul 9 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain injury
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Disorder of consciousness
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'White Matter Deficits Underlying the Impaired Consciousness Level in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this