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Neuroimage. 2011 Jan;54 Suppl 1:S62-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.024. Epub 2010 May 17.

Patterns of altered cortical perfusion and diminished subcortical integrity in posttraumatic stress disorder: an MRI study.

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  • 1Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases, DVA Medical Center San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. norbert.schuff@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) accounts for a substantial proportion of casualties among surviving soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Currently, the assessment of PTSD is based exclusively on symptoms, making it difficult to obtain an accurate diagnosis. This study aimed to find potential imaging markers for PTSD using structural, perfusion, and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together. Seventeen male veterans with PTSD (45 ± 14 years old) and 15 age-matched male veterans without PTSD had measurements of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion MRI. A slightly larger group had also measurements of white matter integrity using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with computations of regional fractional anisotropy (FA). The same subjects also had structural MRI of the hippocampal subfields as reported recently (W. Zhen et al. Arch Gen Psych 2010;67(3):296-303). On ASL-MRI, subjects with PTSD had increased rCBF in primarily right parietal and superior temporal cortices. On DTI, subjects with PTSD had FA reduction in white matter regions of the prefrontal lobe, including areas near the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex as well as in the posterior angular gyrus. In conclusion, PTSD is associated with a systematic pattern of physiological and structural abnormalities in predominantly frontal lobe and limbic brain regions. Structural, perfusion, and diffusion MRI together may provide a signature for a PTSD marker.

PMID:
20483375
PMCID:
PMC2945438
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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