MR in vivo tractography for the reconstruction of cranial nerves course

Gramegna, Laura Ludovica (2023) MR in vivo tractography for the reconstruction of cranial nerves course, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche e neuromotorie, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10600.
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Aim The aim of my Ph.D. was to implement a diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) pipeline to reconstruct cranial nerve I (olfactory) to study COVID-19 patients, and anterior optic pathway (AOP, including optic nerve, chiasm, and optic tract) to study patients with sellar/parasellar tumors, and with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). Methods We recruited 23 patients with olfactory dysfunction after COVID-19 infection (mean age 37±14 years, 12 females); 27 patients with sellar/parasellar tumors displacing the optic chiasm eligible for endonasal endoscopic surgery (mean age 53. ±16.4 years, 13 female) and 6 LHON patients (mutation 11778/MT-ND4, mean age 24.9±15.7 years). Sex- and age-matched healthy control were also recruited. In LHON patients, optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed. Acquisitions were performed on a clinical high field 3-T MRI scanner, using a multi-shell HARDI (High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging) sequence (b-values 0-300-1000-2000 s/mm2, 64 maximum gradient directions, 2mm3 isotropic voxel). DTT was performed with a multi-tissue spherical deconvolution approach and mean diffusivity (MD) DTT metrics were compared with healthy controls using an unpaired t-test. Correlations of DTT metrics with clinical data were sought by regression analysis. Results In all 23 hypo/anosmic patients with previous COVID-19 infection the CN I was successfully reconstructed with no DTT metrics alterations, thus suggesting the pathogenetic role of central olfactory cortical system dysfunction. In all 27 patients with sellar/parasellar tumors the AOP was reconstructed, and in 11/13 (84.7%) undergoing endonasal endoscopic surgery the anatomical fidelity of the reconstruction was confirmed; a significant decrease in MD within the chiasma (p<0.0001) was also found. In LHON patients a reduction of MD in the AOP was significantly associated with OCT parameters (p=0.036). Conclusions Multi-shell HARDI diffusion-weighted MRI followed by multi-tissue spherical deconvolution for the DTT reconstruction of the CN I and AOP has been implemented, and its utility demonstrated in clinical practice.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Gramegna, Laura Ludovica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Diffusion Tensor Tractography (DTT), Anterior Optic Pathway, Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory), COVID-19, Sellar/parasellar tumors, Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)
Data di discussione
30 Marzo 2023

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