29 March 2016 Application of probabilistic fiber-tracking method of MR imaging to measure impact of cranial irradiation on structural brain connectivity in children treated for medulloblastoma
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Abstract
We applied a modified probabilistic fiber-tracking method for the extraction of fiber pathways to quantify decreased white matter integrity as a surrogate of structural loss in connectivity due to cranial radiation therapy (CRT) as treatment for pediatric medulloblastoma. Thirty subjects were examined (n=8 average-risk, n=22 high-risk) and the groups did not differ significantly in age at examination. The pathway analysis created a structural connectome focused on sub-networks within the central executive network (CEN) for comparison between baseline and post-CRT scans and for comparison between standard and high dose CRT. A paired-wise comparison of the connectivity between baseline and post-CRT scans showed the irradiation did have a significant detrimental impact on white matter integrity (decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) and decreased axial diffusivity (AX)) in most of the CEN sub-networks. Group comparisons of the change in the connectivity revealed that patients receiving high dose CRT experienced significant AX decreases in all sub-networks while the patients receiving standard dose CRT had relatively stable AX measures across time. This study on pediatric patients with medulloblastoma demonstrated the utility of this method to identify specific sub-networks within the developing brain affected by CRT.
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Elizabeth C. Duncan, Wilburn E. Reddick, John O. Glass, Jung Won Hyun, Qing Ji, Yimei Li, Amar Gajjar, "Application of probabilistic fiber-tracking method of MR imaging to measure impact of cranial irradiation on structural brain connectivity in children treated for medulloblastoma", Proc. SPIE 9788, Medical Imaging 2016: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 97882Q (29 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2217185; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2217185
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