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Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 19;8(1):1182. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19290-5.

Structural Covariance of Gray Matter Volume in HIV Vertically Infected Adolescents.

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Department of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
National Center for Magnetic Resonance in Wuhan, State Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Atomic and Molecular Physics, Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Department of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection significantly affect neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes. We investigated whether alterations of gray matter organization and structural covariance networks with vertical HIV infection adolescents exist, by using the GAT toolbox. MRI data were analysed from 25 HIV vertically infected adolescents and 33 HIV-exposed-uninfected control participants. The gray matter volume (GMV) was calculated, and structural brain networks were reconstructed from gray matter co-variance. Gray matter losses were pronounced in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right pallidum, right occipital lobe, inferior parietal lobe, and bilateral cerebellum crus. The global brain network measures were not significantly different between the groups; however, the nodal alterations were most pronounced in frontal, temporal, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and temporal lobes. Brain hubs in the HIV-infected subjects increased in number and tended to shift to sensorimotor and temporal areas. In the HIV-infected subjects, decreased GMVs in ACC and bilateral cerebellum were related to lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores; the CD4 counts were positively related to the GMVs in ACC and sensorimotor areas. These findings suggest that focally reduced gray matter, disrupted nodal profiles of structural wirings, and a shift in hub distribution may represent neuroanatomical biomarkers of HIV infection on the developing brain.

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