Table_1_Early Segmental White Matter Fascicle Microstructural Damage Predicts the Corresponding Cognitive Domain Impairment in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease Patients by Automated Fiber Quantification.docx
Objective: To characterize earlier damage pattern of white matter (WM) microstructure in cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) and its relationship with cognitive domain dysfunction.
Methods: A total of 144 CSVD patients and 100 healthy controls who underwent neuropsychological measurements and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) examination were recruited. Cognitive function, emotion, and gait were assessed in each participant. The automated fiber quantification (AFQ) technique was used to extract different fiber properties between groups, and partial correlation and general linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between position-specific WM microstructure and cognitive function.
Results: Specific segments in the association fibers, commissural WM regions of interest (ROIs), and projection fibers were damaged in the CSVD group [P < 0.05, family-wise error (FWE) correction], and these damaged segments showed interhemispheric symmetry. In addition, the damage to specific tract profiles [including the posteromedial component of the right cingulum cingulate (CC), the occipital lobe portion of the callosum forceps major, the posterior portion of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), and the bilateral anterior thalamic radiation (ATR)] was related to the dysfunction in specific cognitive domains. Among these tracts, we found the ATR to be the key set of tracts whose profiles were most associated with cognitive dysfunction. The left ATR was a specific fiber bundle associated with episode memory and language function, whereas the fractional anisotropy (FA) values of the intermediate component of the right ATR were negatively correlated with executive function and gait evaluation. It should be noted that the abovementioned relationships could not survive the Bonferroni correction (p < 0.05/27), so we chose more liberal uncorrected statistical thresholds.
Conclusions: Damage to the WM fiber bundles showed extensive interhemispheric symmetry and was limited to particular segments in CSVD patients. Disruption of strategically located fibers was associated with different cognitive deficits, especially the bilateral ATR.