Histogram analysis of dti-derived indices reveals pontocerebellar degeneration and its progression in SCA2

Mario Mascalchi, Chiara Marzi, Marco Giannelli, Stefano Ciulli, Andrea Bianchi, Andrea Ginestroni, Carlo Tessa, Emanuele Nicolai, Marco Aiello, Elena Salvatore, Andrea Soricelli, Stefano Diciotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose To assess the potential of histogram metrics of diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI)-derived indices in revealing neurodegeneration and its progression in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2). Materials and methods Nine SCA2 patients and 16 age-matched healthy controls, were examined twice (SCA2 patients 3.6±0.7 years and controls 3.3±1.0 years apart) on the same 1.5T scanner by acquiring T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted (b-value = 1000 s/mm2) images. Cerebrum and brainstem-cerebellum regions were segmented using FreeSurfer suite. Histogram analysis of DTI-derived indices, including mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), axial (AD) / radial (RD) diffusivity and mode of anisotropy (MO), was performed. Results At baseline, significant differences between SCA2 patients and controls were confined to brainstem-cerebellum. Median values of MD/AD/RD and FA/MO were significantly (p<0.001) higher and lower, respectively, in SCA2 patients (1.11/1.30/1.03×10−3 mm2/s and 0.14/0.19) than in controls (0.80/1.00/0.70×10−3 mm2/s and 0.20/0.41). Also, peak location values of MD/AD/RD and FA were significantly (p<0.001) higher and lower, respectively, in SCA2 patients (0.91/1.11/0.81×10−3 mm2/s and 0.12) than in controls (0.71/0.91/0.63×103 mm2/s and 0.18). Peak height values of FA and MD/AD/RD/MO were significantly (p<0.001) higher and lower, respectively, in SCA2 patients (0.20 and 0.07/0.06/0.07×10−3 mm2/s/year /0.07) than in controls (0.15 and 0.14/0.11/0.12/×10−3 mm2/s/year /0.09). The rate of change of MD median values was significantly (p<0.001) higher (i.e., increased) in SCA2 patients (0.010×10−3 mm2/s/year) than in controls (-0.003×10−3 mm2/s/year) in the brainstem-cerebellum, whereas no significant difference was found for other indices and in the cerebrum. Conclusion Histogram analysis of DTI-derived indices is a relatively straightforward approach which reveals microstructural changes associated with pontocerebellar degeneration in SCA2 and the median value of MD is capable to track its progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200258
JournalPLoS One
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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