Transsynaptic degeneration of lateral geniculate bodies in blind children: In vivo MR demonstration

Carla Uggetti, Maria Grazia Egitto, Elisa Fazzi, Paolo Emilio Bianchi, Federico Zappoli, Adelaide Martelli, Giovanni Lanzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To investigate signal alterations in the thalamic lateral geniculate bodies of blind patients compatible with transsynaptic degeneration of these nuclei caused by pregeniculate or postgeniculate interruption of the visual pathway. METHODS: Six patients were selected from a group of blind children in our care. Four had cerebral palsy caused by periventricular leukomalacia, one had infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, and one had Chiari I malformation and hydrocephalus, which was worsened by bilateral ischemic lesions of the occipital lobes. MR examinations (obtained at 0.5 T) were reviewed retrospectively by two neuroradiologists, with particular attention to the visual pathway. RESULTS: Symmetric, focal areas of T2 prolongation were found at the precise site of the lateral geniculate bodies. CONCLUSION: Anterograde (pregeniculate) and retrograde (postgeniculate) transsynaptic degeneration of the second neurons of the visual pathway produce alterations in MR signal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Neurons
  • Thalamus
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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