Huntington disease: Volumetric, diffusion-weighted, and magnetization transfer MR imaging of brain

Mario Mascalchi, Francesco Lolli, Riccardo Della Nave, Carlo Tessa, Raffaele Petralli, Cinzia Gavazzi, Letterio S. Politi, Marco Macucci, Massimo Filippi, Silvia Placentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To investigate whether diffusion-weighted and magnetization transfer (MT) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging depict regional and/or global brain abnormalities in patients with Huntington disease (HD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-one carriers of the HD mutation (mean age, 58 years ± 11 [SD]) and 21 healthy control subjects (mean age, 54 years ± 13) underwent conventional, diffusion-weighted, and MT MR imaging. Volumes, mean apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs), and MT ratios (MTRs) for left and right caudate nucleus, putamen, and cerebral periventricular white matter-as well as an index of normalized brain volume and whole-brain ADC and MT histograms-were computed. Asymmetry in volume, ADC, and MTR measurements in caudate nucleus, putamen, and periventricular white matter in control subjects and HD carriers were evaluated with Wilcoxon testing for paired samples. Differences in MR imaging variables between HD carriers and control subjects were evaluated with Mann-Whitney U testing; correlations between stages of clinical severity and MR imaging data were investigated with Spearman rank correlation testing. RESULTS: No significant asymmetry was observed for any of the MR imaging variables. Caudate nucleus, putamen, and whole-brain volumes were smaller (P <.001 for all) in HD carriers than in control subjects. HD carriers also had increased ADC in the caudate nucleus (P = .002), putamen (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-873
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Brain, diffusion
  • Brain, diseases
  • Brain, MR
  • Huntington disease
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), diffusion tensor
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), magnetization transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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