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Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Aug;43(2):87-91. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2010.03.005.

Diffusion tensor imaging of Aicardi syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0114, USA.


Aicardi syndrome is a congenital neurodevelopmental disorder associated with significant cognitive and motor impairment. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed on two subjects with Aicardi syndrome, as well as on two matched subjects with callosal agenesis and cortical malformations but not a clinical diagnosis of Aicardi syndrome. Whole-brain three-dimensional fiber tractography was performed, and major white matter tracts were isolated using standard tracking protocols. One Aicardi subject demonstrated an almost complete lack of normal corticocortical connectivity, with only the left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus recovered by diffusion tensor tractography. A second Aicardi subject exhibited evidence of bilateral cingulum bundles and left uncinate fasciculus, but other corticocortical tracts were not recovered. Major subcortical white matter tracts, including corticospinal, pontocerebellar, and anterior thalamic radiation tracts, were recovered in both Aicardi subjects. In contrast, diffusion tensor tractography analysis on the two matched control subjects with callosal agenesis and cortical malformations recovered all major intrahemispheric cortical and subcortical white matter tracts. These findings reveal a widespread disruption in the corticocortical white matter organization of individuals with Aicardi syndrome. Furthermore, such disruption in white matter organization appears to be a feature specific to Aicardi syndrome, and not shared by other neurodevelopmental disorders with similar anatomic manifestations.

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