A complementary technology is being used to supplement magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests to better detect and to show the severity of brain injuries. This technology, called diffuse tensor imaging, has been around for about 20 years.
According to Imagilys, “Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is an MRI-based neuroimaging technique which makes it possible to estimate the location, orientation, and anisotropy of the brain’s white matter tracts.” DTI allows MRIs to be sensitive to the motion of water molecules in the brain’s white matter and to track the movement of those molecules in the brain.
Essentially, if the brain is clear from obstruction, water molecules move in concentric circular patterns. These normal patterns change if there is an obstruction. Diffusion tensor imaging examines these water molecule movements by focusing on nerve fibers in the brain’s white matter.
Trained specialists who understand how to read DTI results can then determine how much the function of the brain is damaged. A DTI exam rules out certain medical conditions, in addition to confirming other conditions.
Generally, a DTI test is admissible in court in much the same way that an MRI test and other scientific evidence is admissible. The general issue that courts look to when considering medical evidence is whether the specific medical tests are generally recognized and accepted in the medical community. While DTI is relatively new over the past decade or so, it’s generally accepted procedure as it’s a variant of MRI tests – which have a long history of acceptance, as well as a good amount of peer-review acceptance of DTI tests.
The value of a DTI exam in a brain injury case
A DTI test is more sensitive than an MRI test and therefore more likely to detect a brain injury. DTI exams are non-invasive; patients are injected with a dye which the radiologist can read the results. Otherwise, it’s typically an outpatient procedure.
The DTI study is also easier to explain to a jury because its key component is color mapping, which members of a jury can visually acknowledge. And with the help of an experienced DTI professional, jury members should be able to understand what the different colors mean for an accident victim’s health.
At Plattner Verderame P.C., our Phoenix brain injury attorneys work to stay current with the latest technologies and scientific advancements to help prove the extent of your injuries. We also work with neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical therapists, psychologists, and many other medical professionals to understand how much care you will need, the cost of the care, and what kind of life you or a loved one will lead post-accident.