Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 68–79

Quantitative Diffusion Tensor Imaging Tractography Metrics are Associated with Cognitive Performance Among HIV-Infected Patients

Authors

    • Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical School
    • Department of Neurology, Boston University Medical Center Alzheimer’s Disease CenterBoston University Medical School
  • Jared Conley
    • Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical School
  • Robert H. Paul
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Missouri at St. Louis
  • Kathryn Coop
    • Center for AIDS ResearchThe Miriam Hospital
  • Song Zhang
    • Department of Computer Science and EngineeringMississippi State University
  • Wenjin Zhou
    • Department of Computer ScienceBrown University
  • David H. Laidlaw
    • Department of Computer ScienceBrown University
  • Lynn E. Taylor
    • Center for AIDS ResearchThe Miriam Hospital
    • Department of MedicineThe Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
  • Timothy Flanigan
    • Center for AIDS ResearchThe Miriam Hospital
    • Department of MedicineThe Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
  • Bradford Navia
    • Department of MedicineTufts New England Medical Center
  • Ronald Cohen
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineThe Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University
  • Karen Tashima
    • Center for AIDS ResearchThe Miriam Hospital
    • Department of MedicineThe Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11682-009-9086-z

Cite this article as:
Tate, D.F., Conley, J., Paul, R.H. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2010) 4: 68. doi:10.1007/s11682-009-9086-z

Abstract

There have been many studies examining HIV-infection-related alterations of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diffusion metrics. However, examining scalar diffusion metrics ignores the orientation aspect of diffusion imaging, which can be captured with tractography. We examined five different tractography metrics obtained from global tractography maps (global tractography FA, average tube length, normalized number of streamtubes, normalized weighted streamtube length, and normalized total number of tubes generated) for differences between HIV positive and negative patients and the association between the metrics and clinical variables of disease severity. We also examined the relationship between these metrics and cognitive performance across a wide range of cognitive domains for the HIV positive and negative patient groups separately. The results demonstrated a significant difference between the groups for global tractography FA (t = 2.13, p = 0.04), but not for any of the other tractography metrics examined (p-value range = 0.39 to 0.95). There were also several significant associations between the tractography metrics and cognitive performance (i.e., tapping rates, switching 1 and 2, verbal interference, mazes; r ≥ 0.42) for HIV infected patients. In particular, associations were noted between tractography metrics, speed of processing, fine motor control/speed, and executive function for the HIV-infected patients. These findings suggest that tractography metrics capture clinically relevant information regarding cognitive performance among HIV infected patients and suggests the importance of subtle white matter changes in examining cognitive performance.

Keywords

HIVDTINeuropsychological performanceTractography

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010