Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 478–490 | Cite as

A prospective evaluation of changes in brain structure and cognitive functions in adult stem cell transplant recipients

  • D. D. Correa
  • J. C. Root
  • R. Baser
  • D. Moore
  • K. K. Peck
  • E. Lis
  • T. B. Shore
  • H. T. Thaler
  • A. Jakubowski
  • N. Relkin
SI: Neuroimaging Studies of Cancer and Cancer Treatment


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an efficacious treatment for many hematologic malignancies. However, the conditioning regimen of high-dose (HD) chemotherapy with or without total body irradiation (TBI) can be associated with neurotoxicity. In this prospective study, we used quantitative neuroimaging techniques to examine regional gray matter and ventricular volumes, and standardized neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function before and 1 year after HSCT in 28 patients with hematologic malignancies and in ten healthy controls evaluated at similar intervals. Nineteen patients received conditioning treatment with HD chemotherapy alone and nine had both TBI and HD chemotherapy. There was a significant reduction in gray matter volume in the middle frontal gyrus bilaterally and in the left caudate nucleus in the patient group (all patients combined) but not among healthy controls over the 1-year follow-up period. There was a significant increase in left lateral ventricle volume and in total ventricle volume in the patient group, relative to healthy controls. Similar brain structural changes were seen for patients treated with HD chemotherapy alone. The neuropsychological results showed that 21 % of patients could be classified as impaired at baseline. The Reliable Change Index suggested no significantly different rates of cognitive decline between patients and healthy controls. The findings suggest that HSCT patients may be at an increased risk for developing regional brain volume loss, and that subgroups may experience cognitive dysfunction prior to and 1 year following the transplant.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Cognitive Structural neuroimaging Voxel-based morphometry 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. D. Correa
    • 1
    • 6
  • J. C. Root
    • 2
    • 7
  • R. Baser
    • 3
  • D. Moore
    • 6
  • K. K. Peck
    • 4
    • 8
  • E. Lis
    • 4
    • 8
  • T. B. Shore
    • 9
  • H. T. Thaler
    • 3
  • A. Jakubowski
    • 5
    • 9
  • N. Relkin
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology & BiostatisticsMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Neurology & NeuroscienceWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  9. 9.Department of MedicineWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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