Diffusion tensor imaging of deep gray matter in children treated for brain malignancies

Alena Horska, Anna Nidecker, Jarunee Intrapiromkul, Firouzeh Tannazi, Siamak Ardekani, Larry J. Brant, Moody D Wharam, Ernest M Mahone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous DTI studies reported microstructural changes in white matter of patients receiving treatment for brain malignancies. The primary aim of this prospective pilot longitudinal study was to examine if DTI can detect microstructural changes in deep gray matter (as evaluated by the apparent diffusion coefficient, ADC) between pediatric patients treated with cranial radiation therapy and typically developing healthy children. The relationship between ADC and neurobehavioral performance was also examined. Methods: ADC was measured at 1.5 T in the caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, thalamus, and hippocampus in nine patients (mean age 11.8 years) and nine age-matched healthy controls. The study was designed with four visits: baseline, 6-month, 15-month, and 27-month follow-ups. Results: Patients had 24 % higher overall mean ADC in the hippocampus compared with controls (p∈=∈0.003). Post hoc analyses revealed significantly elevated ADC at baseline (p∈=∈0.003) and at the 27-month follow-up (p∈=∈0.006). Nevertheless, patients performed normally on a verbal memory test considered to be a hippocampus-related function. Relative to controls, patients' performance on the tests of the visual-spatial working memory decreased over time (group by visit, p∈=∈0.036). Both patients and controls showed a decline in motor speed with increasing ADC in the globus pallidus and putamen. Conclusions: Childhood brain malignancies and their treatment may affect gray matter microstructure as measured by water diffusion. Significant findings in the hippocampus but not other regions suggest that differences in tissue sensitivity to disease- and treatment-related injury among gray matter regions may exist. ADC in basal ganglia may be associated with motor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-638
Number of pages8
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Basal ganglia
  • Brain
  • Children
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Hippocampus
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion tensor imaging of deep gray matter in children treated for brain malignancies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this