Purpose: Brain radiation is associated with functional deficits in children. The purpose of this study was to examine white matter integrity as measured by diffusion tensor imaging and associations with region-specific radiation dose and neuropsychological functioning in children treated with cranial irradiation. Methods and Materials: A total of 20 patients and 55 age- and sex-matched controls were included in the present study. Diffusion tensor imaging and neuropsychological assessments were conducted at baseline and 6, 15, and 27 months after treatment. The neuropsychological assessment included motor dexterity, working memory, and processing speed. White matter regions were contoured, and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were recorded for each participant. Linear mixed effects regression models were used to prospectively compare the associations among ADC, FA, radiation dose to contoured structures, and performance on the neuropsychological assessments over time. Results: The mean prescription dose was 44 Gy (range 12-54). Across visits, compared with the controls, the patients showed a significantly increased ADC across all selected regions and alterations in FA in the dorsal midbrain and corpus callosum (genu, splenium, body). An increased radiation dose to the genu and body of the corpus callosum was associated with alterations in ADC and FA and reduced neuropsychological performance, most notably motor speed and processing. Conclusions: These prospective data suggest that subcortical white matter, especially the genu and body of the corpus callosum, could be regions with increased susceptibility to radiation-induced injury, with implications for cognitive function.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
|Published - Aug 1 2018
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research