CC BY 4.0 · J Brachial Plex Peripher Nerve Inj 2019; 14(01): e16-e23
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1687913
Original Contribution
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Evaluation of Brachial Plexus Using Combined Stereological Techniques of Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Fiber Tracking

Niyazi Acer
1  Department of Anatomy, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey
Mehmet Turgut
2  Department of Neurosurgery, Adnan Menderes University School of Medicine, Aydın, Turkey
3  Department of Histology and Embryology, Adnan Menderes University Health Sciences Institute, Aydın, Turkey
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

11 December 2018

18 February 2019

Publication Date:
12 June 2019 (online)


Background Brachial plexus (BP) is composed of intercommunications among the ventral roots of the nerves C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1 in the neck. The in vivo and in vitro evaluation of axons of the peripheral nervous system is performed using different techniques. Recently, many studies describing the application of fiber tractography and stereological axon number estimation to peripheral nerves have been published.

Methods Various quantitative parameters of nerve fibers, including axon number, density, axonal area, and myelin thickness, can be estimated using stereological techniques. In vivo three-dimensional reconstruction of axons of BP can be visualized using a combined technique of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and fiber tracking with the potential to evaluate nerve fiber content.

Conclusion It is concluded that terminal branches of BP can be successfully visualized using DTI, which is a highly reproducible method for the evaluation of BP as it shows anatomical and functional features of neural structures. We believe that quantitative morphological findings obtained from BP will be useful for new experimental, developmental, and pathological studies in the future.