Alteration of long-distance functional connectivity and network topology in patients with supratentorial gliomas
The need for information regarding functional alterations in patients with brain gliomas is increasing, but little is known about the functional consequences of focal brain tumors throughout the entire brain. Using resting-state functional MR imaging (rs-fMRI), this study assessed functional connectivity in patients with supratentorial brain gliomas with possible alterations in long-distance connectivity and network topology.
Data from 36 patients with supratentorial brain gliomas and 12 healthy subjects were acquired using rs-fMRI. The functional connectivity matrix (FCM) was created using 32 pairs of cortical seeds on Talairach coordinates in each individual subject. Local and distant connectivity were calculated using z-scores in the individual patient’s FCM, and the averaged FCM of patients was compared with that of healthy subjects. Weighted network analysis was performed by calculating local efficiency, global efficiency, clustering coefficient, and small-world topology, and compared between patients and healthy controls.
When comparing the averaged FCM of patients with that of healthy controls, the patients showed decreased long-distance, inter-hemispheric connectivity (0.32 ± 0.16 in patients vs. 0. 42 ± 0.15 in healthy controls, p = 0.04). In network analysis, patients showed increased local efficiency (p < 0.05), but global efficiency, clustering coefficient, and small-world topology were relatively preserved compared to healthy subjects.
Patients with supratentorial brain gliomas showed decreased long-distance connectivity while increased local efficiency and preserved small-world topology. The results of this small case series may provide a better understanding of the alterations of functional connectivity in patients with brain gliomas across the whole brain scale.
KeywordsResting state functional magnetic resonance imaging Functional connectivity Supratentorial gliomas Network analysis
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant Number: NRF-2009-0076988).
Compliance with ethical standards
We declare that all human and animal studies have been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Asan Medical Center and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. We declare that all patients gave informed consent prior to inclusion in this study.
Conflict of Interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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