Affiliations: [a] School of Information Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, P. R. China | [b] South China Institute of Software Engineering, Guangzhou, 510990, P. R. China | [c] School of Basic Medical Science Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, P. R. China
Abstract: White matter (WM) asymmetries of the human brain have been well documented using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The purpose of this study was to investigate white matter asymmetry across the whole brain in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) patients and evaluate the relation between the factors which often represent disease’s existence and white matter asymmetry. A total of 105 nondemented elderly with cerebral SVD patients aged between 60 and 85 years were included in this study. All participants underwent T1 MPRAGE, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and DTI scanning. With tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) in DTI, this study examined the WM asymmetries and the correlations between WM asymmetries and four distinct factors such as deep white matter hyperintensities (DWMH) score, periventricularhyperintensities (PVH) score, cerebral microbleed (CMB) number and lacune number. Our study suggests the asymmetric microstructural change in SVD patients involving the right more injured than the left. The four factors jointly affect right brain anisotropy decrease in the middle cerebellar peduncle, the cerebral peduncle, the pontine crossing tract, the corticospinal tract, the medial lemniscus, the posterior limb of internal capsule and the frontal pattern of white matter. The results of our study demonstrated the lost right white matter may be the mainly origin of dysfunction in SVD patients. This asymmetry should help to evaluate prognostic indicators of disease progression in lesion-based neuropathology.
Keywords: White matter (WM) asymmetries, cerebral small vessel disease, FA asymmetry