Diffusional kurtosis imaging analysis in patients with hypertension
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Hypertension is associated with substantial morbidity in Japan. The aim of this work was to evaluate whether hypertension is associated with white matter microstructural changes by using diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI).
We explored the regional patterns of white matter alteration in 15 hypertensive middle-aged male participants and 11 normotensive controls by using DKI-based whole-brain analysis. In addition, we investigated whether the observed white matter microstructural changes were related to systolic or diastolic blood pressure by using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis.
Mean diffusional kurtosis (MDK) values were significantly higher in hypertensive participants than in normotensive participants (P < 0.05; family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons), indicating widespread microstructural changes in white matter. Moreover, we noted a statistically significant positive correlation between systolic and diastolic blood pressure and MDK values of the whole brain.
Our study suggests that microstructural white matter changes occur in middle-aged men with hypertension, even before the onset of cerebrovascular disease. Thus, DKI might be used as a screening tool for risk of cerebrovascular disease. This highlights the need to further elucidate the relationship between hypertension and DKI of the brain.
KeywordsHypertension Cerebrum Diffusional kurtosis imaging
This study was supported in part by a High Technology Research Center Grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (MEXT). The research was also supported in part by a MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Comprehensive Brain Science Network), and by a MEXT KAKENHI Grant (Number 25861126).
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