Longitudinal brain white matter alterations in minimal hepatic encephalopathy before and after liver transplantation

Wei Che Lin, Kun Hsien Chou, Chao Long Chen, Hsiu Ling Chen, Cheng Hsien Lu, Shau Hsuan Li, Chu Chung Huang, Ching Po Lin, Yu Fan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cerebral edema is the common pathogenic mechanism for cognitive impairment in minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Whether complete reversibility of brain edema, cognitive deficits, and their associated imaging can be achieved after liver transplantation remains an open question. To characterize white matter integrity before and after liver transplantation in patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy, multiple diffusivity indices acquired via diffusion tensor imaging was applied. Twenty-eight patients and thirty age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were included. Multiple diffusivity indices were obtained from diffusion tensor images, including mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, axial diffusivity and radial diffusivity. The assessment was repeated 6-12 month after transplantation. Differences in white matter integrity between groups, as well as longitudinal changes, were evaluated using tract-based spatial statistical analysis. Correlation analyses were performed to identify first scan before transplantation and interval changes among the neuropsychiatric tests, clinical laboratory tests, and diffusion tensor imaging indices. After transplantation, decreased water diffusivity without fractional anisotropy change indicating reversible cerebral edema was found in the left anterior cingulate, claustrum, postcentral gyrus, and right corpus callosum. However, a progressive decrease in fractional anisotropy and an increase in radial diffusivity suggesting demyelination were noted in temporal lobe. Improved pre-transplantation albumin levels and interval changes were associated with better recoveries of diffusion tensor imaging indices. Improvements in interval diffusion tensor imaging indices in the right postcentral gyrus were correlated with visuospatial function score correction. In conclusion, longitudinal voxel-wise analysis of multiple diffusion tensor imaging indices demonstrated different white matter changes in minimal hepatic encephalopathy patients. Transplantation improved extracellular cerebral edema and the results of associated cognition tests. However, white matter demyelination may advance in temporal lobe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere105887
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 08 2014

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal brain white matter alterations in minimal hepatic encephalopathy before and after liver transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this