Diffusion tensor imaging of the sciatic nerve in Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type I patients: a prospective case–control study
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This study aimed to evaluate whether diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters and cross-sectional area (CSA) can differentiate between the sciatic nerve of Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease type I (demyelinating form) patients and that of controls.
This prospective comparison study included 18 CMT type I patients and 18 age/sex-matched volunteers. Magnetic resonance imaging including DTI and axial T2-weighted Dixon sequence was performed for each subject. Region of interest analysis was independently performed by two radiologists on each side of the sciatic nerve at four levels: hamstring tendon origin (level 1), lesser trochanter of the femur (level 2), gluteus maximus tendon insertion (level 3), and mid-femur (level 4). Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) were calculated. The CSA of the sciatic nerve bundle was measured using axial water-only image at each level. Comparisons of DTI parameters between the two groups were performed using the two-sample t test and Mann–Whitney U test. Interobserver agreement analysis was also conducted.
Interobserver agreement was excellent for all DTI parameter analyses. FA was significantly lower at all four levels in CMT patients than controls. RD, MD, and CSA were significantly higher at all four levels in CMT patients. AD was significantly higher at level 2 in CMT patients.
DTI assessment of the sciatic nerve is reproducible and can discriminate the demyelinating nerve pathology of CMT type I patients from normal nerves. The CSA of the sciatic nerve is also a potential parameter for diagnosing nerve abnormality in CMT type I patients.
• Diffusion tensor imaging parameters of the sciatic nerve at proximal to mid-femur level revealed significant differences between the Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease patients and controls.
• The cross-sectional area of the sciatic nerve was significantly larger in the Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease patients.
• Interobserver agreement was excellent (intraclass coefficient > 0.8) for all diffusion tensor imaging parameter analyses.
KeywordsDiffusion tensor imaging Magnetic resonance imaging Neuromuscular disease Sciatic nerve
Diffusion tensor imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging
Receiver operating characteristic
Region of interest
This study has received funding by Bracco Imaging (PHO0162171).
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Young Cheol Yoon.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statistics and biometry
Insuk Sohn and Hyeseung Kim, the staffs of Bioinformatics Center, kindly provided statistical advice for this manuscript.
Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.
Institutional review board approval was obtained.
• case–control study
• performed at one institution
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