Image_4_Reorganization of Brain White Matter in Persistent Idiopathic Tinnitus Patients Without Hearing Loss: Evidence From Baseline Data.TIF (1.29 MB)
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Image_4_Reorganization of Brain White Matter in Persistent Idiopathic Tinnitus Patients Without Hearing Loss: Evidence From Baseline Data.TIF

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posted on 16.06.2020, 07:13 by Qian Chen, Zhaodi Wang, Han Lv, Pengfei Zhao, Zhenghan Yang, Shusheng Gong, Zhenchang Wang

It remains unknown whether tinnitus or tinnitus-related hearing loss (HL) could indirectly impair or reshape the white matter (WM) of the human brain. We aim to explore the possible brain WM change in tinnitus patients without HL and further to investigate their associations with clinical variables. Structural and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of 20 idiopathic tinnitus patients without HL and 22 healthy controls (HCs) were obtained. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis were conducted to investigate the differences in WM volume and integrity between patients and HCs, separately. We extracted WM parameters to determine a sensitive imaging index to differentiate the idiopathic tinnitus patients from the HCs in the early stage. Correlations between the clinical variables and WM indices were also performed in patients. Compared with the controls, the tinnitus patients without HL exhibited significant decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in the body and genu of corpus callosum (CC), left cingulum (LC) and right cingulum (RC), and right superior longitudinal fasciculus (RSLF) and increase in mean diffusivity (MD) in the body of CC in WM. Moreover, the patients also showed decreases in WM axial diffusivity (AD) in LC, left superior longitudinal fasciculus (LSLF), and right interior cerebellar peduncle (ICP) and increases in radial diffusivity (RD) in the body and genu of CC and RSLF (p < 0.05, voxel-level FWE corrected). Furthermore, the increased RD value of the genu of CC is closely associated with the tinnitus handicap inventory (THI) subscale scores. No WMV changes were detected in tinnitus patients. We combined the altered WM integrity index of body and genu of CC and LC and RSLF as an index to differentiate the two groups and reached a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 77.3%. Our findings suggest that tinnitus without HL is associated with significant alterations of WM integrity. These changes may be irrespective of the duration and other clinical performance. The combination of diffusion indices of body and genu of CC and LC and RSLF might be used as the potential useful imaging index for the diagnosis of persistent idiopathic tinnitus without HL in the early stage.

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