Background Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) could detect abnormal brain microstructural alterations. DTI studies of Huntington’s disease (HD) have yielded inconsistent results.
Objective To integrate the existing DTI studies of HD and explore the validity of DTI to detect microstructural damages in HD brain via meta-analysis.
Methods Systematic and comprehensive searches of the databases were performed for DTI studies of HD. The data from the studies that met our inclusion criteria were extracted and analysed using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis version2 software. Random effect models were utilised to minimise the potential between-study heterogeneity. One-way sensitivity analysis was conducted to test the robustness of the results.
Results The meta-analysis included 140 pre-symptomatic HD (PreHD), 235 symptomatic HD (SymHD) patients and 302 controls, revealing significantly increased fractional anisotropy (FA) in the caudate, putamen, and globus pallidus, while decreased FA in the corpus callosum of both PreHD and SymHD patients compared with controls. In addition, significantly increased mean diffusivity (MD) was identified in the putamen and thalamus of both PreHD and SymHD patients, and in the caudate of SymHD patients, while no significant difference in MD in the caudate of PreHD patients. In the corpus callosum, there was a significant increase of radial diffusivity and axial diffusivity in SymHD patients compared with controls.
Conclusions Our meta-analysis provides further evidence that DTI detects microstructural damage of both white matter and grey matter even in PreHD gene carriers, and that FA could be a particular sensitive marker for disease progression.
- Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
- Microstructural damage
- Fractional anisotropy (FA)
- Mean diffusivity (MD)
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