Focal Wallerian degeneration of the corpus callosum in large middle cerebral artery stroke: Serial diffusion tensor imaging

Rakesh K. Gupta, Sona Saksena, Khader M. Hasan, Atul Agarwal, Mohammad Haris, Chandra M. Pandey, Ponnada A. Narayana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To detect lesion-related focal Wallerian degeneration (WD) changes in different segments of the corpus callosum (CC) in patients with large middle cerebral arterial (MCA) territory stroke using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Materials and Methods: Eight patients underwent DTI scans at three different time points: six to eight weeks, 10-12 weeks, and beyond six months of stroke onset. Eight healthy age-matched controls were also scanned using the same protocol at three different time points. Region-of-interest (ROI) analysis was performed on seven segments of the CC to determine the fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and corresponding callosal cross-sectional areas. Results: On repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), a significant reduction in the FA values was observed from the first to the third study compared to controls, reflecting temporal degeneration in the rostrum, genu, rostral body, anterior midbody, and splenium of the CC. However, a significant temporal elevation in MD values was observed in only the rostral body and anterior midbody of the CC. This was associated with a significant region-specific reduction in the cross-sectional areas at time points beyond six months, and appears to be consistent with the loss of callosal structural components due to interruption of the cortico-callosal fibers secondary to WD. Conclusion: These results indicate that cortico-callosal topographical changes exhibit a significant temporal decline in observed FA values that is suggestive of cortico-callosal WD in patients with large MCA territory stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Corpus callosum
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Middle cerebral artery
  • Stroke
  • Wallerian degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this