Periventricular nodular heterotopia: Detection of abnormal microanatomic fiber structures with whole-brain diffusion MR imaging tractography

Shawna Farquharson, J-Donald Tournier, Fernando Calamante, Simone Mandelstam, Rosemary Burgess, Michal E. Schneider, Samuel F. Berkovic, Ingrid E. Scheffer, Graeme D. Jackson, Alan Connelly

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Purpose: To investigate whether it is possible in patients with periventricular nodular heterotopia (PVNH) to detect abnormal fiber projections that have only previously been reported in the histopathology literature. Materials and Methods: Whole-brain diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging data from 14 patients with bilateral PVNH and 14 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were prospectively acquired by using 3.0-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging between August 1, 2008, and December 5, 2012. All participants provided written informed consent. The DW imaging data were processed to generate wholebrain constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD)-based tractography data and super-resolution track-density imaging (TDI) maps. The tractography data were overlaid on coregistered three-dimensional T1-weighted images to visually assess regions of heterotopia. A panel of MR imaging researchers independently assessed each case and indicated numerically (no = 1, yes = 2) as to the presence of abnormal fiber tracks in nodular tissue. The Fleiss k statistical measure was applied to assess the reader agreement. Results: Abnormal fiber tracks emanating from one or more regions of heterotopia were reported by all four readers in all 14 patients with PVNH (Fleiss k = 1). These abnormal structures were not visible on the tractography data from any of the control subjects and were not discernable on the conventional T1-weighted images of the patients with PVNH. Conclusion: Whole-brain CSD-based fiber tractography and super-resolution TDI mapping reveals abnormal fiber projections in nodular tissue suggestive of abnormal organization of white matter (with abnormal fibers both within nodules and projecting to the surrounding white matter) in patients with bilateral PVNH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-906
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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