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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9358092, 11 pages
Research Article

Predictors of Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Prolonged Consciousness Disorder

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Kohnan Hospital, Tohoku Ryogo Center, Sendai, Japan
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
4Department of Neurosurgery, Kohnan Hospital, Tohoku Ryogo Center, Sendai, Japan
5Department of Neurosurgery, Kohnan Hospital, Sendai, Japan
6Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Hiroaki Abe

Received 28 October 2016; Revised 19 January 2017; Accepted 22 January 2017; Published 23 February 2017

Academic Editor: Cheng-Sheng Chen

Copyright © 2017 Hiroaki Abe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the clinical predictors of the degree of recovery in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDC) caused by traumatic brain injury. Fourteen patients with PDC underwent two diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies; the first and second scans were performed at and days after the injury, respectively. In addition to the temporal changes in each of these diffusion parameters, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity were assessed over a 1-year period. Relationship of clinical and DTI parameters with recovery from PDC (RPDC) was evaluated using Spearman’s rank-correlation and stepwise multiple linear regression analysis. The mean FA and number of voxels with FA values > 0.4 (VsFA0.4) were significantly decreased at the second scan. A significant positive correlation was observed between the degree of RPDC and mean FA () and VsFA0.4 () as well as between the difference in VsFA0.4 () and AD () between the first and second scans. On multiple linear regression analysis, initial severity of PDC and the difference in AD remained significantly associated with the degree of RPDC. The microstructural white matter changes observed in this study indicate their potential relation with the degree of RPDC over the longer term.