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Brain Behav. 2019 Dec;9(12):e01482. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1482. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

Selective microstructural integrity impairments of the anterior corpus callosum are associated with cognitive deficits in obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Hefei Fourth People's Hospital, Hefei, China.
Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China.



There is some evidence that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients have white matter integrity abnormality in the corpus callosum (CC). However, whether the CC subregions are differentially affected in OSA is largely unknown.


Twenty patients with OSA and 24 well-matched healthy controls were enrolled and underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and clinical and cognitive assessments. DTI tractography was used to reconstruct the CC which was divided into five subregions. Intergroup differences in multiple diffusion metrics of each CC subregion and their correlations with clinical and cognitive parameters were tested.


In comparison with healthy controls, OSA patients exhibited white matter integrity alterations in the anterior CC, characterized by increased radial diffusivity (RD) in the subregion 1 and decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) along with increased mean diffusivity (MD) and RD in the subregion 2. Moreover, we found that the lower microstructural integrity in the anterior CC was correlated with worse prospective memory and sustained attention in OSA patients.


These findings indicate that the selective impairments of the anterior CC may help clarify the neural correlates of cognitive impairments in OSA.


cognitive deficits; corpus callosum; diffusion tensor imaging; obstructive sleep apnea; subregion; tractography

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