BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Polymicrogyria and lissencephaly may be associated with abnormal organization of the undelying white matter tracts that have been rarely investigated so far. Our aim was to characterize white matter tract organization in polymicrogyria and lissencephaly using constrained spherical deconvolution, a multifiber diffusion MR imaging modeling technique for white matter tractography reconstruction.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 50 patients (mean age, 8.3 ± 5.4 years; range, 1.4-21.2 years; 27 males) with different polymicrogyria (n = 42) and lissencephaly (n = 8) subtypes. The fiber direction-encoded color maps and 6 different white matter tracts reconstructed from each patient were visually compared with corresponding images reconstructed from 7 age-matched, healthy control WM templates. Each white matter tract was assessed by 2 experienced pediatric neuroradiologists and scored in consensus on the basis of the severity of the structural abnormality, ranging from the white matter tracts being absent to thickened. The results were summarized by different polymicrogyria and lissencephaly subgroups.
RESULTS: More abnormal-appearing white matter tracts were identified in patients with lissencephaly compared with those with polymicrogyria (79.2% versus 37.3%). In lissencephaly, structural abnormalities were identified in all studied white matter tracts. In polymicrogyria, the more frequently affected white matter tracts were the cingulum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and optic radiation-posterior corona radiata. The severity of superior longitudinal fasciculus and cingulum abnormalities was associated with the polymicrogyria distribution and extent. A thickened superior fronto-occipital fasciculus was demonstrated in 3 patients.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated a range of white matter tract structural abnormalities in patients with polymicrogyria and lissencephaly. The patterns of white matter tract involvement are related to polymicrogyria and lissencephaly subgroups, distribution, and, possibly, their underlying etiologies.