Introduction: The purpose of this study is to compare the clinical findings to the quantitative values obtained by the diffusion tensor images (dti) studies and to study the spinal cord of the patients with post herpetic neuralgia using the fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and correlate these data with the clinical findings. To compare the results of the dti study of the patients that developed post herpetic neuralgia with the results of the patients that presented herpes zoster but didn't present secondary neuralgia.
Methods: Thirty patients that presented herpes zoster infection at the dorsal region with or without secondary neuralgia were studied. They were all submitted to a MRI exam, done at a 1.5T Siemens MR, diffusion and T2 sequences and analyzed at a Leonardo WS. The parameters analyzed and compared were FA and ADC and statistical analysis were performed to compare the data of the individuals with pain and patients without pain; within the patients with pain the values of ADC and FA were compared using the criteria above and below the lesion.
Results: No statistical differences were observed between the two groups of patients and no statistical differences were observed in the patients with neuralgia regarding the level of the pain and the level of the FA and ADC.
Conclusions: As there is no evidence in this study confirming the relevance of the dti parameters in PHN the idea of being dti changes related to abnormal distribution of the white in the spine still needs to be proved.
Patient Care: Comparing the results of the dti exams - the populations that had herpes zoster infection with and without post herpetic neuralgia it will be possible to have a predictable value for the evolution of the pain in these infections desease.
Learning Objectives: Clarify the indications of the dti studies to analyze the spinal cord of patients with post herpetic neuralgia.