Neuroimage Clin. 2023 Aug 8;39:103486. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2023.103486. Online ahead of print.
Diffusion-Weight Imaging (DWI) is increasingly used to explore a range of outcomes in pediatric concussion, particularly the neurobiological underpinnings of symptom recovery. However, the DWI findings within the broader pediatric concussion literature are mixed, which can largely be explained by methodological heterogeneity. To address some of these limitations, the aim of the present study was to utilize internationally- recognized criteria for concussion and a consistent imaging timepoint to conduct a comprehensive, multi-parametric survey of white matter microstructure after concussion. Forty-three children presenting with concussion to the emergency department of a tertiary level pediatric hospital underwent neuroimaging and were classified as either normally recovering (n = 27), or delayed recovering (n = 14) based on their post-concussion symptoms at 2 weeks post-injury.We combined multiple DWI metrics across four modeling approaches using Linked Independent Component Analysis (LICA) to extract several independent patterns of covariation in tissue microstructure present in the study cohort. Our analysis did not identify significant differences between the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups and no component significantly predicted delayed recovery. If white matter microstructure changes are implicated in delayed recovery from concussion, these findings, alongside previous work, suggest that current diffusion techniques are insufficient to detect those changes at this time.