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Anatomical mapping of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) - Exploring the relationships between periventricular WMH, deep WMH, and total WMH burden

Department of Neurology, University of California at Davis, Davis, Calif, USA.
Stroke (Impact Factor: 6.02). 02/2005; 36(1):50-5. DOI: 10.1161/01.STR.0000150668.58689.f2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MRI segmentation and mapping techniques were used to assess evidence in support of categorical distinctions between periventricular white matter hyperintensities (PVWMH) and deep WMH (DWMH). Qualitative MRI studies generally identify 2 categories of WMH on the basis of anatomical localization. Separate pathophysiologies and behavioral consequences are often attributed to these 2 classes of WMH. However, evidence to support these empirical distinctions has not been rigorously sought.
MRI analysis of 55 subjects included quantification of WMH volume, mapping onto a common anatomical image, and spatial localization of each WMH voxel. WMH locations were then divided into PVWMH and DWMH on the basis of distance from the lateral ventricles and correlations, with total WMH volume determined. Periventricular distance histograms of WMH voxels were also calculated.
PVWMH and DWMH were highly correlated with total WMH (R2>0.95) and with each other (R2>0.87). Mapping of all WMH revealed smooth expansion from around central cerebrospinal fluid spaces into more distal cerebral white matter with increasing WMH volume.
PVWMH, DWMH, and total WMH are highly correlated with each other. Moreover, spatial analysis failed to identify distinct subpopulations for PVWMH and DWMH. These results suggest that categorical distinctions between PVWMH and DWMH may be arbitrary, and conclusions regarding individual relationships between causal factors or behavior for PVWMH and DWMH may more accurately reflect total WMH volume relationships.

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