A comparative evaluation of quantitative neuroimaging measurements of brain status in HIV infection

Du, H.; Wu, Y.; Ochs, R.; Edelman, R. R.; Epstein, L. G.; McArthur, J.; Ragin, A. B.

Psychiatry Res. 2012 Aug 16; 203(1):95-9


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetization transfer imaging (MT) and automated brain volumetry were used to summarize brain involvement in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. A multiparametric neuroimaging protocol was implemented at 1.5 T in 10 HIV+ and 24 controls. Various summary parameters were calculated based on DTI, MT, and automated brain volumetry. The magnitude of the difference, as well as the between-group discrimination, was determined for each measure. Bivariate correlations were computed and redundancy among imaging parameters was examined by principal factor analysis. Significant or nearly significant differences were found for most measures. Large Cohen's d effect sizes were indicated for mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and gray matter volume fraction (GM). Between-group discrimination was excellent for FA and MTR and acceptable for MD. Correlations among all imaging parameters could be explained by three factors, possibly reflecting general atrophy, neuronal loss, and alterations. This investigation supports the utility of summary measurements of brain involvement in HIV infection. The findings also support assumptions concerning the enhanced sensitivity of DTI and MT to atrophic as well as alterations in the brain. These findings are broadly generalizable to brain imaging studies of physiological and pathological processes.

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