Rationale and Objective: Brain tissue damage in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has never been systematically studied using diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). We studied FTD patients using DWI to determine whether microstructural changes in white matter can be detected in vivo. Materials and Methods: Thirteen FTD patients and 15 aged healthy subjects were studied. Mean diffusivity (MD) abnormalities in 28 white matter regions were visually evaluated. In addition, MD values in 10 white matter regions relative to that in the ipsilateral postcentral gyrus were measured. The results were compared between healthy subjects and FTD patients. Results: The visual rating resulted in a significant MD elevation in FTD patients in the bilateral high superior frontal gyri, right orbitofrontal gyrus, bilateral anterior temporal lobes, and left middle temporal lobe (P < .01, respectively). Relative MD comparison revealed a significant MD elevation in FTD patients in the bilateral high superior frontal gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal gyri, and bilateral anterior temporal lobes (P < .05 after Bonferroni correction, respectively). Conclusion: Our results demonstrated white matter MD abnormalities in FTD patients. It was suggested that the observed white matter MD abnormalities are secondary to damage in the overlying cortex.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging