[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Longitudinal MRI studies in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are one of the most reliable way to track brain changes along the course of the disease.
To investigate the evolution of grey matter (GM) atrophy and white matter (WM) damage in AD patients, and to assess the relationships of MRI changes with baseline clinical and cognitive variables and their evolution over time.
Clinical, neuropsychological, and MRI assessments (T1-weighted and diffusion tensor [DT]-MRI) were obtained from 14 patients with AD at baseline and after a 16 ± 3 month period. Lumbar puncture was obtained at study entry. At baseline, AD patients were compared to 37 controls. GM atrophy progression was assessed with tensor-based morphometry and GM volumes of interest, and WM damage progression using tract-based spatial statistics and tractography.
At baseline, patients showed cortical atrophy in the medial temporal and parietal regions and a widespread pattern of WM damage involving the corpus callosum, cingulum, and temporo-occipital, parietal, and frontal WM tracts. During follow up, AD patients showed total GM atrophy, while total WM volume did not change. GM tissue loss was found in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. In addition, AD patients showed a progression of WM microstructural damage to the corpus callosum, cingulum, fronto-parietal and temporo-occipital connections bilaterally. Patients with higher baseline cerebrospinal fluid total tau showed greater WM integrity loss at follow up. GM and WM changes over time did not correlate with each other nor with cognitive evolution.
In AD, GM atrophy and WM tract damage are likely to progress, at least partially, independently. This study suggests that a multimodal imaging approach, which includes both T1-weighted and DT MR imaging, may provide additional markers to monitor disease progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the supportive role of molecular and structural biomarkers (CSF protein levels, FDG PET and MRI) in the early differential diagnosis of dementia in a large sample of patients with neurodegenerative dementia, and in determining the risk of disease progression in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
We evaluated the supportive role of CSF Aβ42, t-Tau, p-Tau levels, conventional brain MRI and visual assessment of FDG PET SPM t-maps in the early diagnosis of dementia and the evaluation of MCI progression.
Diagnosis based on molecular biomarkers showed the best fit with the final diagnosis at a long follow-up. FDG PET SPM t-maps had the highest diagnostic accuracy in Alzheimer's disease and in the differential diagnosis of non-Alzheimer's disease dementias. The p-tau/Aβ42 ratio was the only CSF biomarker providing a significant classification rate for Alzheimer's disease. An Alzheimer's disease-positive metabolic pattern as shown by FDG PET SPM in MCI was the best predictor of conversion to Alzheimer's disease.
In this clinical setting, FDG PET SPM t-maps and the p-tau/Aβ42 ratio improved clinical diagnostic accuracy, supporting the importance of these biomarkers in the emerging diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia. FDG PET using SPM t-maps had the highest predictive value by identifying hypometabolic patterns in different neurodegenerative dementias and normal brain metabolism in MCI, confirming its additional crucial exclusionary role.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00259-015-3170-y · 5.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the role of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based histogram analysis and functional diffusion maps (fDMs) in evaluating structural changes of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) receiving temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy.
Twenty-one LGG patients underwent 3T-MR examinations before and after three and six cycles of dose-dense TMZ, including 3D-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences and DTI (b = 1000 s/mm(2), 32 directions). Mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), and tensor-decomposition DTI maps (p and q) were obtained. Histogram and fDM analyses were performed on co-registered baseline and post-chemotherapy maps. DTI changes were compared with modifications of tumour area and volume [according to Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria], and seizure response.
After three cycles of TMZ, 20/21 patients were stable according to RANO criteria, but DTI changes were observed in all patients (Wilcoxon test, P ≤ 0.03). After six cycles, DTI changes were more pronounced (P ≤ 0.005). Seventy-five percent of patients had early seizure response with significant improvement of DTI values, maintaining stability on FLAIR. Early changes of the 25th percentiles of p and MD predicted final volume change (R(2) = 0.614 and 0.561, P < 0.0005, respectively). TMZ-related changes were located mainly at tumour borders on p and MD fDMs.
DTI-based histogram and fDM analyses are useful techniques to evaluate the early effects of TMZ chemotherapy in LGG patients.
• DTI helps to assess the efficacy of chemotherapy in low-grade gliomas. • Histogram analysis of DTI metrics quantifies structural changes in tumour tissue. • Functional diffusion maps (fDMs) spatially localize the changes of DTI metrics. • Changes in DTI histograms and fDMs precede changes in conventional MRI. • Early changes in DTI histograms and fDMs correlate with seizure response.
European Radiology 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00330-015-3934-6 · 4.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crossed aphasia has been reported mainly as post-stroke aphasia resulting from brain damage ipsilateral to the dominant right hand. Here, we described a case of a crossed nonfluent/agrammatic primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA), who developed a corticobasal syndrome (CBS). We collected clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging data for four consecutive years from a 55-year-old right-handed lady (JV) presenting with speech disturbances. 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG PET) and DaT-scan with (123)I-Ioflupane were obtained. Functional MRI (fMRI) during a verb naming task was acquired to characterize patterns of language lateralization. Diffusion tensor MRI was used to evaluate white matter damage within the language network. At onset, JV presented with prominent speech output impairment and right frontal atrophy. After 3 years, language deficits worsened, with the occurrence of a mild agrammatism. The patient also developed a left-sided mild extrapyramidal bradykinetic-rigid syndrome. The clinical picture was suggestive of nfvPPA with mild left-sided extrapyramidal syndrome. At this time, voxel-wise SPM analyses of (18)F-FDG PET and structural MRI showed right greater than left frontal hypometabolism and damage, which included the Broca's area. DaT-scan showed a reduced uptake in the right striatum. FMRI during naming task demonstrated bilateral language activations, and tractography showed right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) involvement. Over the following year, JV became mute and developed frank left-sided motor signs and symptoms, evolving into a CBS clinical picture. Brain atrophy worsened in frontal areas bilaterally, and extended to temporo-parietal regions, still with a right-sided asymmetry. Tractography showed an extension of damage to the left SLF and right inferior longitudinal fasciculus. We report a case of crossed nfvPPA followed longitudinally and studied with advanced neuroimaging techniques. The results highlight a complex interaction between individual premorbid developmental differences and the clinical phenotype.
Journal of Neurology 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00415-015-7845-x · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quality of life of craniopharyngioma patients can be severely impaired by derangement of hypothalamic function. A classification, taking into account preoperative hypothalamic damage, evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and correlating it with postoperative weight change is still missing in the literature. The aim of our study is to identify objective radiological criteria as preoperative prognostic factors for hypothalamic damage. Pre- and post-operative MRI and clinical data of 47 patients, treated at our Institution for craniopharyngioma, were retrospectively analyzed, based on radiological variables, identified as prognostic factor for hypothalamic involvement. Main factors associated with postoperative obesity were hypothalamic hyperintensity in T2-weighted/FLAIR imaging (p < 0.033), mammillary body involvement according to Müller classification (p < 0.020), unidentifiable pituitary stalk (p < 0.001), dislocated chiasm (p < 0.038), either not visible infundibular recess (p < 0.019) or unrecognizable supra-optic recess (p < 0.004), and retrochiasmatic tumor extension (p < 0.019). Accordingly, postoperative hypothalamic syndrome was associated with peritumoral edema in T2-weighted/FLAIR images (p < 0.003), unidentifiable hypothalamus (p < 0.024), hypothalamic compression (p < 0.006), fornix displacement (p < 0.032), and unrecognizable supra-optic recess (p < 0.031). Ultimately, variables identified as predictive factors of postoperative hypothalamic syndrome were the degree of hypothalamic involvement according to the classification described by Sainte-Rose and Puget (p < 0.002; grade 0 vs 2 p < 0.001), Van Gompel (p < 0.002; grade 0 vs 1, p < 0.027; and grade 0 vs 2, p < 0.002), and Muller (p < 0.006; grade 0 vs 1, p < 0.05; and grade 0 vs 2, p < 0.004). The identification of these predictive factors will help to define and score the preoperative hypothalamic involvement in craniopharyngioma patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is characterized by extremely variable degrees of facial, scapular and lower limb muscle involvement. Clinical and genetic determination can be difficult, as molecular analysis is not always definitive, and other similar muscle disorders may have overlapping clinical manifestations.
Whole-body muscle MRI examination for fat infiltration, atrophy and oedema was performed to identify specific patterns of muscle involvement in FSHD patients (30 subjects), and compared to a group of control patients (23) affected by other myopathies (NFSHD).
In FSHD patients, we detected a specific pattern of muscle fatty replacement and atrophy, particularly in upper girdle muscles. The most frequently affected muscles, including paucisymptomatic and severely affected FSHD patients, were trapezius, teres major and serratus anterior. Moreover, asymmetric muscle involvement was significantly higher in FSHD as compared to NFSHD patients.
In conclusion, muscle MRI is very sensitive for identifying a specific pattern of involvement in FSHD patients and in detecting selective muscle involvement of non-clinically testable muscles. Muscle MRI constitutes a reliable tool for differentiating FSHD from other muscular dystrophies to direct diagnostic molecular analysis, as well as to investigate FSHD natural history and follow-up of the disease.
• Muscle MRI identifies a specific pattern of muscle involvement in FSHD patients. • Muscle MRI may predict FSHD in asymptomatic and severely affected patients. • Muscle MRI of upper girdle better predicts FSHD. • Muscle MRI may differentiate FSHD from other forms of muscular dystrophy. • Muscle MRI may show the involvement of non-clinical testable muscles.
European Radiology 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00330-015-3890-1 · 4.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using advanced MRI techniques, we investigated the presence and topographical distribution of brain grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) alterations in dominant optic atrophy (DOA) patients with genetically proven OPA1 mutation as well as their correlation with clinical and neuro-ophthalmologic findings. Nineteen DOA patients underwent neurological, neuro-ophthalmologic and brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEP) evaluations. Voxel-wise methods were applied to assess regional GM and WM abnormalities in patients compared to 20 healthy controls. Visual acuity was reduced in 16 patients. Six DOA patients (4 with missense mutations) had an abnormal I peripheral component (auditory nerve) at BAEP. Compared to controls, DOA patients had significant atrophy of the optic nerves (p < 0.0001). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis showed that, compared to controls, DOA patients had significant WM atrophy of the chiasm and optic tracts; whereas no areas of GM atrophy were found. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis showed that compared to controls, DOA patients had significantly lower mean diffusivity, axial and radial diffusivity in the WM of the cerebellum, brainstem, thalamus, fronto-occipital-temporal lobes, including the cingulum, corpus callosum, corticospinal tract and optic radiation bilaterally. No abnormalities of fractional anisotropy were detected. No correlations were found between volumetric and diffusivity abnormalities quantified with MRI and clinical and neuro-ophthalmologic measures of disease severity. Consistently with pathological studies, tissue loss in DOA patients is limited to anterior optic pathways reflecting retinal ganglion cell degeneration. Distributed abnormalities of diffusivity indexes might reflect abnormal intracellular mitochondrial morphology as well as alteration of protein levels due to OPA1 mutations.
Journal of Neurology 03/2015; 262(5). DOI:10.1007/s00415-015-7696-5 · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To test a multimodal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-based approach composed of cortical thickness and white matter (WM) damage metrics to discriminate between variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) that are nonfluent and/or agrammatic (NFVPPA) and semantic (SVPPA).
Materials and methods:
This study was approved by the local ethics committees on human studies, and written informed consent from all patients was obtained before their enrollment. T1-weighted and diffusion-tensor (DT) MR images were obtained from 13 NFVPPA patients, 13 SVPPA patients, and 23 healthy control participants. Cortical thickness and DT MR imaging indices from the long-associative and interhemispheric WM tracts were obtained. A random forest (RF) analysis was used to identify the image features associated with each clinical syndrome. Individual patient classification was performed by using receiver operator characteristic curve analysis with cortical thickness, DT MR imaging, and a combination of the two modalities. RESULTS RF analysis showed that the best markers to differentiate the two PPA variants at an individual patient level among cortical thickness and DT MR imaging metrics were diffusivity abnormalities of the left inferior longitudinal and uncinate fasciculi and cortical thickness measures of the left temporal pole and inferior frontal gyrus. A combination of cortical thickness and DT MR imaging measures (the so-called gray-matter-and-WM model) was able to distinguish patients with NFVPPA and SVPPA with the following classification pattern: area under the curve, 0.91; accuracy, 0.89; sensitivity, 0.92; specificity, 0.85. Leave-one-out analysis demonstrated that the gray matter and WM model is more robust than the single MR modality models to distinguish PPA variants (accuracy was 0.86, 0.73, and 0.68 for the gray matter and WM model, the gray matter-only model, and the WM-only model, respectively).
A combination of structural and DT MR imaging metrics may provide a quantitative procedure to distinguish NFVPPA and SVPPA patients at an individual patient level. The discrimination accuracies obtained suggest that the gray matter and WM model is potentially relevant for the differential diagnosis of the PPA variants in clinical practice.