Volumetric Reductions of Subcortical Structures and Their Localizations in Alcohol-Dependent Patients

Jae-Hyuk Shim, Yong-Tae Kim, Siekyeong Kim, Hyeon-Man Baek
2019 Frontiers in Neurology  
Changes in brain morphometry have been extensively reported in various studies examining the effects of chronic alcohol use in alcohol-dependent patients. Such studies were able to confirm the association between chronic alcohol use and volumetric reductions in subcortical structures using FSL (FMRIB software library). However, each study that utilized FSL had different sets of subcortical structures that showed significant volumetric reduction. First, we aimed to investigate the
more » ... of using FSL to assess volumetric differences of subcortical structures between alcohol-dependent patients and control subjects. Second, we aimed to use Vertex analysis, a less utilized program, to visually inspect 3D meshes of subcortical structures and observe significant shape abnormalities that occurred in each subcortical structure. Vertex analysis results from the hippocampus and thalamus were overlaid on top of their respective subregional atlases to further pinpoint the subregional locations where shape abnormalities occurred. We analyzed the volumes of 14 subcortical structures (bilateral thalamus, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens) in 21 alcohol-dependent subjects and 21 healthy controls using images acquired with 3T MRI. The images were run through various programs found in FSL, such as SIENAX, FIRST, and Vertex analysis. We found that in alcohol-dependent patients, the bilateral thalamus (left: p < 0.01, right: p = 0.01), bilateral putamen (left: p = 0.02, right: p < 0.01), right globus pallidus (p < 0.01), bilateral hippocampus (left: p = 0.05, right: p = 0.03) and bilateral nucleus accumbens (left: p = 0.05, right: p = 0.03) were significantly reduced compared to the corresponding subcortical structures of healthy controls. With vertex analysis, we observed surface reductions of the following hippocampal subfields: Presubiculum, hippocampal tail, hippocampal molecular layer, hippocampal fissure, fimbria, and CA3. We reproduced the assessment made in previous studies that reductions in subcortical volume were negatively associated with alcohol dependence by using the FMRIB Software Library. In addition, we identified the subfields of the thalamus and hippocampus that showed volumetric reduction.
doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00247 pmid:30941093 pmcid:PMC6433880 fatcat:nuejj3ujdva3zmkywonr2pkh3m