BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The hand motor cortex (HMC) has been classically described as having an omega or epsilon shape in axial-plane images obtained with CT and MR imaging. The aim of this study was to use MR imaging and Talairach normalization in a large sample population that was homogeneous for age and handedness to evaluate in a sex model a new classification with 5 morphologic variants of the HMC in the axial plane (omega, medially asymmetric epsilon, epsilon, laterally asymmetric epsilon, and null). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Structural brain MR images were obtained from 257 right-handed healthy subjects (143 men and 114 women; mean age, 23.1 ± 1.1 years) via a Talairach space transformed 3D magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition of gradient echo sequence. The frequencies of the different HMC variants were reported for hemisphere and sex. RESULTS: The new variants of the HMC (medially asymmetric epsilon, laterally asymmetric epsilon, and null) were observed in 2.9%, 7.0%, and 1.8% of the hemispheres, respectively. Statistically significant sex differences were observed: The epsilon variant was twice as frequent in men, and an interhemispheric concordance for morphologic variants was observed only for women. CONCLUSION: The large study population permitted the description of a new morphologic classification that included 3 new variants of the HMC. This new morphologic classification should facilitate the identification of the precentral gyrus in subsequent studies and in everyday practice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology