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J Neurol Sci. 2017 Sep 15;380:215-222. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2017.07.039. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

High angular resolution diffusion imaging abnormalities in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Metabolic and Aging Sciences, MRI Research Centre SUN FISM, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", 80138 Naples, Italy. Electronic address: francesca.trojsi@unicampania.it.
2
Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Metabolic and Aging Sciences, MRI Research Centre SUN FISM, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", 80138 Naples, Italy.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Caserta, Italy.
4
Department of Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Metabolic and Aging Sciences, MRI Research Centre SUN FISM, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", 80138 Naples, Italy; Department of Psychology, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Caserta, Italy.
5
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, Scuola Medica Salernitana, University of Salerno, Baronissi, Salerno, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Using magnetic resonance (MR) high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI), we aimed at revealing possible microstructural alterations in the early stage of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), still not completely elucidated.

METHODS:

We studied 22 patients with ALS, in stages 1 or 2 according to the King's staging system, compared to 18 healthy controls (HCs). Statistical mapping of HARDI-derived parameters and tractography measures were performed using the Q-ball imaging diffusion data model.

RESULTS:

When compared to HCs, the ALS group showed a highly significant decrease of generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) and fiber length and density in the corticospinal tracts (CSTs) and in the corpus callosum (CC) (p<0.05, corrected level of significance). Moreover, stratifying the ALS population considering the disease phenotype, larger areas of decreased GFA were found in patients with bulbar phenotype compared to those with classic phenotype in several bilateral associative fiber tracts, such as superior and inferior longitudinal, inferior fronto-occipital and uncinate fasciculi.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our whole-brain HARDI results provided preliminary evidence of an early pattern of microstructural degeneration in ALS, mainly involving the CSTs and the CC, although divergent patterns of microstructural abnormalites could be related to different disease phenotypes.

KEYWORDS:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; High angular resolution diffusion weighted imaging; Phenotype; Structural neuroimaging

PMID:
28870572
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2017.07.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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