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Abnormal regional homogeneity of resting-state brain activity in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis without overt hepatic encephalopathy

Authors

  • Xiao-Fei Lv,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Department of Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
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    • Xiao-Fei Lv, Ying-Wei Qiu and Jun-Zhang Tian contributed to the work equally.
  • Ying-Wei Qiu,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
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    • Xiao-Fei Lv, Ying-Wei Qiu and Jun-Zhang Tian contributed to the work equally.
  • Jun-Zhang Tian,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
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    • Xiao-Fei Lv, Ying-Wei Qiu and Jun-Zhang Tian contributed to the work equally.
  • Chuan-Miao Xie,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Department of Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
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  • Lu-Jun Han,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Department of Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
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  • Huan-Huan Su,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
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  • Zhen-Yin Liu,

    1. Medical Imaging Centre, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medial University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Jun-Ping Peng,

    1. Medical Imaging Centre, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medial University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Chu-Lan Lin,

    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
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  • Mao-Sheng Wu,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
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  • Gui-Hua Jiang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Department of Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
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  • Xue-Lin Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical Imaging Centre, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medial University, Guangzhou, China
    2. Medical Imaging Centre, Kanghua Hospital, Guangdong, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and Department of Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
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Correspondence

Gui-Hua Jiang, Department of Medical Imaging, Guangdong No.2 Provincial People's Hospital, Guangzhou 510317, China. e-mail: jiangguihua_image@163.com

or

Xue-Lin Zhang, Medical Imaging Centre, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medial University, Guangzhou 510515, China; Medical Imaging Centre, Kanghua Hospital, Guangdong, China.

e-mail: zhangxuelin_2010@163.com

Abstract

Background

Many studies have reported that cognitive deficits exist in cirrhotic patients without overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE). However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these deficits are still not fully understood.

Aim

To investigate regional activity abnormalities in patients with hepatitis B virus-related cirrhosis (HBV-RC) without OHE using resting-state functional MRI (Rs-fMRI), and to examine the relationship between regional activity abnormalities and impaired cognition.

Methods

A newly reported regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach was used to compare the local synchronization of Rs-fMRI signals in 32 patients with HBV-RC without OHE and 32 well-matched healthy controls. Cognition was measured in all patients using psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES) tests, and the relationship between ReHo variation and PHES was analysed.

Results

Relative to healthy controls, the cirrhosis group showed high ReHo in the prefrontal cortex, and widespread low ReHo in visual association areas (left lingual gyrus, middle temporal gyrus and right middle occipital gyrus), motor association areas (bilateral precentral gyrus and paracentral lobule) and the bilateral precuneus. Correlation analysis of the mean ReHo values in different brain areas and PHES in cirrhotic patients revealed a significantly positive correlation in the left lingual gyrus (= 0.352; = 0.048), right middle occipital gyrus (= 0.453; = 0.009) and bilateral precentral gyrus (left: = 0.436, = 0.013; right: = 0.582, < 0.001), paracentral lobule (= 0.485; = 0.005) and precuneus (= 0.468; = 0.007).

Conclusions

Our results provide information on the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying cognitive alterations in cirrhotic patients and demonstrate the feasibility of using Rs-fMRI with ReHo analysis as a noninvasive modality with which to detect the progression of cognitive changes in cirrhotic patients.

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