Send to

Choose Destination
Sleep. 2019 Jul 1. pii: zsz120. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsz120. [Epub ahead of print]

Altered structural brain network resulting from white matter injury in obstructive sleep apnea.

Author information

Translational Imaging Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI.
Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.
Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea.
Institute of Human Genomic Study, College of Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.
Department of Radiological Science, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pulmonary Sleep and Critical Care Medicine Disorder Center, College of Medicine, Korea University, Ansan, Republic of Korea.



To assess, using fractional anisotropy (FA) analysis, alterations of brain network connectivity in adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Abnormal networks could mediate clinical functional deficits and reflect brain tissue injury.


Structural brain networks were constructed using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) from 165 healthy (age 57.99 ± 6.02 years, male 27.9%) and 135 OSA participants (age 59.01 ± 5.91 years, male 28.9%) and global network properties (strength, global efficiency, and local efficiency) and regional efficiency were compared between groups. We examined MRI biomarkers of brain tissue injury using FA analysis and its effect on the network properties.


Differences between groups of interest were noted in global network properties (p-value < 0.05, corrected), and regional efficiency (p-value < 0.05, corrected) in the left middle cingulate and paracingulate gyri, right posterior cingulate gyrus, and amygdala. In FA analysis, OSA participants showed lower FA values in white matter (WM) of the right transverse temporal, anterior cingulate and paracingulate gyri, and left postcentral, middle frontal and medial frontal gyri, and the putamen. After culling fiber tracts through WM which showed significant differences in FA, we observed no group difference in network properties.


Changes in WM integrity and structural connectivity are present in OSA participants. We found that the integrity of WM affected brain network properties. Brain network analysis may improve understanding of neurocognitive deficits in OSA, enable longitudinal tracking, and provides explanations for specific symptoms and recovery kinetics.


diffusion tensor imaging; fractional anisotropy; obstructive sleep apnea; structural brain network


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center