Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Diffusion Tensor Imaging studies: white matter fibre alterations in Anorexia Nervosa (a systematic review)


Diffusion Tensor Imaging technique (DTI) is a rapidly evolving procedure available for characterising abnormalities in white matter fibre structure (WM) in relation to neuropathology and treatment.


to investigate the association of WM fibre tracts and microstructural alterations in Anorexia Nervosa (AN).


A systematic database search for published studies was conducted in November 2014 on 4 databases to identify studies that included samples of individuals with AN in which WM fibre tracts were analysed by means of DTI.


A total of 20 studies were retrieved, from which 6 met the inclusion criteria. The study samples were comprised of recovered patients (n=4), patients in the ill acute state (n=1), and both (n=1). Preliminary evidence suggests the WM fibre of the fornix, the cingulum, and the fronto-occipital fibre tracts are altered in AN patients but the persistence with or without recovery is less clear.


The selected studies expose diverse altered tracts in AN, mainly related to the limbic system and some prefrontal areas. The varying findings may reflect its symptom complexity. The DTI technique appears to be well suited to examine the neurological underpinnings of AN. Further research is needed to study putative alterations in patients who recover and in those who do not recover.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Beatriz Martin.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Martin, B., Hay, P., Touyz, S. et al. Diffusion Tensor Imaging studies: white matter fibre alterations in Anorexia Nervosa (a systematic review). J Eat Disord 3 (Suppl 1), P11 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: