Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is a leading cause of age-related microvascular cognitive decline, resulting in significant morbidity and decreased quality of life. Despite a progress on its key pathophysiological bases and general acceptance of key terms from neuroimaging findings as observed on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), key questions on CSVD remain elusive. Enhanced relationships and reliable lesion studies, such as white matter tractography using diffusion-based MRI (dMRI) are necessary in order to improve the assessment of white matter architecture and connectivity in CSVD. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography is an application of dMRI that provides data that can be used to non-invasively appraise the brain white matter connections via fiber tracking and enable visualization of individual patient-specific white matter fiber tracts to reflect the extent of CSVD-associated white matter damage. However, due to a lack of standardization on various sets of software or image pipeline processing utilized in this technique that driven mostly from research setting, interpreting the findings remain contentious, especially to inform an improved diagnosis and/or prognosis of CSVD for routine clinical use. In this minireview, we highlight the advances in DTI pipeline processing and the prospect of this DTI metrics as potential imaging biomarker for CSVD, even for subclinical CSVD in at-risk individuals.
Cerebral Small Vessel Disease White Matter Diffusion Tensor Imaging Diffusion Tensor Imaging Metrics White Matter Tractography White Matter Connections Routine Clinical Use Image Pipeline Fiber Tracking At-risk Individuals
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