Correlation of quantitative sensorimotor tractography with clinical grade of cerebral palsy.

Department of Radiodiagnosis, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, 226014, India.
Neuroradiology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 08/2010; 52(8):759-65. DOI: 10.1007/s00234-010-0703-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine whether tract-specific diffusion tensor imaging measures in somatosensory and motor pathways correlate with clinical grades as defined using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in cerebral palsy (CP) children.
Quantitative diffusion tensor tractography was performed on 39 patients with spastic quadriparesis (mean age = 8 years) and 14 age/sex-matched controls. All patients were graded on the basis of GMFCS scale into grade II (n = 12), grade IV (n = 22), and grade V (n = 5) CP and quantitative analysis reconstruction of somatosensory and motor tracts performed.
Significant inverse correlation between clinical grade and fractional anisotropy (FA) was observed in both right and left motor and sensory tracts. A significant direct correlation of mean diffusivity values from both motor and sensory tracts was also observed with clinical grades. Successive decrease in FA values was observed in all tracts except for left motor tracts moving from age/sex-matched controls to grade V through grades II and IV.
We conclude that white matter tracts from both the somatosensory and the motor cortex play an important role in the pathophysiology of motor disability in patients with CP.

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    ABSTRACT: Although cerebral palsy (CP) is among the most common causes of physical disability in early childhood, we know little about the functional and structural changes of this disorder in the developing brain. Here, we investigated with three different neuroimaging modalities [magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state fMRI] whether spastic CP is associated with functional and anatomical abnormalities in the sensorimotor network. Ten children participated in the study: four with diplegic CP (DCP), three with hemiplegic CP (HCP), and three typically developing (TD) children. Somatosensory (SS)-evoked fields (SEFs) were recorded in response to pneumatic stimuli applied to digits D1, D3, and D5 of both hands. Several parameters of water diffusion were calculated from DTI between the thalamus and the pre-central and post-central gyri in both hemispheres. The sensorimotor resting-state networks (RSNs) were examined by using an independent component analysis method. Tactile stimulation of the fingers elicited the first prominent cortical response at ~50 ms, in all except one child, localized over the primary SS cortex (S1). In five CP children, abnormal somatotopic organization was observed in the affected (or more affected) hemisphere. Euclidean distances were markedly different between the two hemispheres in the HCP children, and between DCP and TD children for both hemispheres. DTI analysis revealed decreased fractional anisotropy and increased apparent diffusion coefficient for the thalamocortical pathways in the more affected compared to less affected hemisphere in CP children. Resting-state functional MRI results indicated absent and/or abnormal sensorimotor RSNs for children with HCP and DCP consistent with the severity and location of their lesions. Our findings suggest an abnormal SS processing mechanism in the sensorimotor network of children with CP possibly as a result of diminished thalamocortical projections.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 09/2014; 8(725). DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00725 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term to describe the spectrum of disorders of impaired motor and sensory function caused by a brain lesion occurring early during development. Diffusion MRI and tractography have been shown to be useful in the study of white matter (WM) microstructure in tracts likely to be impacted by the static brain lesion. Aim The purpose of this study was to identify WM pathways with altered connectivity in children with unilateral CP caused by periventricular white matter lesions using a whole-brain connectivity approach. Methods Data of 50 children with unilateral CP caused by periventricular white matter lesions (5–17 years; manual ability classification system [MACS] I = 25/II = 25) and 17 children with typical development (CTD; 7–16 years) were analysed. Structural and High Angular Resolution Diffusion weighted Images (HARDI; 64 directions, b = 3000 s/mm2) were acquired at 3 T. Connectomes were calculated using whole-brain probabilistic tractography in combination with structural parcellation of the cortex and subcortical structures. Connections with altered fractional anisotropy (FA) in children with unilateral CP compared to CTD were identified using network-based statistics (NBS). The relationship between FA and performance of the impaired hand in bimanual tasks (Assisting Hand Assessment—AHA) was assessed in connections that showed significant differences in FA compared to CTD. Results FA was reduced in children with unilateral CP compared to CTD. Seven pathways, including corticospinal, thalamocortical, and fronto-parietal association pathways were identified simultaneously in children with left and right unilateral CP. There was a positive relationship between performance of the impaired hand in bimanual tasks and FA within the cortico-spinal and thalamo-cortical pathways (r2 = 0.16-0.44; p < 0.05). Conclusion This study shows that network-based analysis of structural connectivity can identify alterations in FA in unilateral CP, and that these alterations in FA are related to clinical function. Application of this connectome-based analysis to investigate alterations in connectivity following treatment may elucidate the neurological correlates of improved functioning due to intervention.
    01/2014; 5. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.05.018
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heterogeneous group of non-progressive motor disorders caused by injury to the developing fetal or infant brain. Although the defining feature of CP is motor impairment, numerous other neurodevelopmental disabilities are associated with CP and contribute greatly to its morbidity. The relationship between brain structure and neurodevelopmental outcomes in CP is complex, and current evidence suggests that motor and developmental outcomes are related to the spatial pattern and extent of brain injury. Given that multiple disabilities are frequently associated with CP, and that there is increasing burden of neurodevelopmental disability with increasing motor severity, global white matter (WM) connectivity was examined in a cohort of 17 children with bilateral CP to test the hypothesis that increased global WM damage will be seen in the group of severely affected (Gross Motor Function Classification Scale (GMFCS) level of IV) as compared to moderately affected (GMFCS of II or III) individuals. Diffusion tensor tractography was performed and the resulting fibers between anatomically defined brain regions were quantified and analyzed in relation to GMFCS levels. Overall, a reduction in total WM connectivity throughout the brain in severe versus moderate CP was observed, including but not limited to regions associated with the sensorimotor system. Our results also show a diffuse and significant reduction in global inter-regional connectivity between severity groups, represented by inter-regional fiber count, throughout the brain. Furthermore, it was also observed that there is a significant difference (p = 0.02) in long-range connectivity in patients with severe CP as compared to those with moderate CP, whereas short-range connectivity was similar between groups. This new finding, which has not been previously reported in the CP literature, demonstrates that CP may involve distributed, network-level structural disruptions.
    01/2013; 2:440-7. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2013.03.006