MR imaging and spectroscopy of the basal ganglia in chronic liver disease: Correlation of T1-weighted contrast measurements with abnormalities in proton and phosphorus-31 MR spectra
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to correlate the hyperintensity in the globus pallidus seen on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain in chronic liver disease with changes in metabolite ratios measured from both proton and phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) localised to the basal ganglia. T1-weighted spin echo (T1 WSE) images were obtained in 21 patients with biopsy-proven cirrhosis (nine Child's grade A, eight Child's grade B and four Child's grade C). Four subjects showed no evidence of neuropsychiatric impairment on clinical, psychometric and electrophysiological testing, four showed evidence of subclinical hepatic encephalopathy and 13 had overt hepatic encephalopathy. Signal intensities of the globus pallidus and adjacent brain parenchyma were measured and contrast calculated, which correlated with the severity of the underlying liver disease, when graded according to the Pugh's score (p<0.05). Proton MRS of the basal ganglia was performed in 12 patients and 14 healthy volunteers. Peak area ratios of choline (Cho), glutamine and glutamate (Glx) and N-acetylaspartate relative to creatine (Cr) were measured. Significant reductions in mean Cho/Cr and elevations in mean Glx/Cr ratios were observed in the patient population. Phosphorus-31 MRS of the basal ganglia was performed in the remaining nine patients and in 15 healthy volunteers. Peak area ratios of phosphomonoesters (PME), inorganic phosphate, phosphodiesters (PDE) and phosphocreatine relative to BATP (ATP) were then measured. Mean values of PME/ATP and PDE/ATP were significantly lower in the patient population. No correlation was found between the T1WSE MRI contrast measurements of the globus pallidus and the abnormalities in the metabolite ratios measured from either proton or phosphorus-31 MR spectra. Our results suggest that pallidal hyperintensity seen on T1WSE MR imaging of patients with chronic liver disease is not related to the functional abnormalities of the brain observed in hepatic encephalopathy.
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ABSTRACT: Hyperammonemic encephalopathy is a type of metabolic encephalopathy with diversified etiology. Hyperammonemia is the end result of several metabolic disorders such as congenital deficiencies of urea cycle enzymes, hepatic encephalopathy, Reye's syndrome and other toxic encephalopathies. Non-specific clinical presentation poses a great challenge in early diagnosis of this entity. Irrespective of the underlying etiology, hyperammonemia causes a distinctive pattern of brain parenchymal injury. The cingulate gyrus and insular cortex are more vulnerable to this type of toxic insult. Characteristic magnetic resonance imaging findings in combination with laboratory parameters can help to differentiate this entity from other metabolic encephalopathy and thus aiding in early diagnosis and treatment.Acta neurologica Belgica 02/2012; 112(2):221-3. · 0.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neurobiological and neuroimaging studies have emphasized the structural and functional alterations in the striatum of cirrhotic patients, but alterations in the functional connections between the striatum and other brain regions have not yet been explored. Of note, manganese accumulation in the nervous system, frequently reflected by hyperintensity at the bilateral globus pallidus (GP) on T1-weighted imaging, has been considered a factor affecting the striatal and cortical functions in hepatic decompensation. We employed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyze the temporal correlation between the striatum and the remaining brain regions using seed-based correlation analyses. The two-sample t-test was conducted to detect the differences in corticostriatal connectivity between 44 cirrhotic patients with hyperintensity at the bilateral GP and 20 healthy controls. Decreased connectivity of the caudate was detected in the anterior/middle cingulate gyrus, and increased connectivity of the caudate was found in the left motor cortex. A reduction in functional connectivity was found between the putamen and several regions, including the anterior cingulate gyrus, right insular lobe, inferior frontal gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus, and anterior lobe of the right cerebellum; increased connectivity was detected between the putamen and right middle temporal gyrus. There were significant correlations between the corticostriatal connectivity and neuropsychological performances in the patient group, but not between the striatal connectivity and GP signal intensity. These alterations in the corticostriatal functional connectivity suggested the abnormalities in the intrinsic brain functional organiztion among the cirrhotic patients with manganese deposition, and may be associated with development of metabolic encephalopathy. The manganese deposition in nervous system, however, can not be an independent factor predicting the resting-state brain dysfunction in real time.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e48886. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The term hepatic encephalopathy (HE) covers a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities caused by portal-systemic shunting. The diagnosis requires demonstration of liver dysfunction or portal-systemic shunts and exclusion of other neurologic disorders. Most patients with this condition have liver dysfunction caused by cirrhosis, but it also occurs in patients with acute liver failure and less commonly, in patients with portal-systemic shunts that are not associated with hepatocellular disease. Various magnetic resonance (MR) techniques have improved our knowledge about the pathophysiology of HE. Proton MR spectroscopy and T1-weighted imaging can detect and quantify accumulations of brain products that are normally metabolized or eliminated such as glutamine and manganese. Other MR techniques such as T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging can identify white matter abnormalities resulting from disturbances in cell volume homeostasis secondary to brain hyperammonemia. Partial or complete recovery of these abnormalities has been observed with normalization of liver function or after successful liver transplantation. MR studies have undoubtedly improved our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of HE, and some findings can be considered biomarkers for monitoring the effects of therapeutic measures focused on correcting this condition.Seminars in ultrasound, CT, and MR. 04/2014; 35(2):136-52.