Increased brain apparent diffusion coefficient in tuberous sclerosis

Radiology. 2004 Aug;232(2):461-5. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2322030198. Epub 2004 Jun 23.


Purpose: To evaluate the water diffusivity of normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex compared with that in control subjects.

Materials and methods: Diffusion and conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging examinations were performed in 18 patients with clinically established tuberous sclerosis complex (10 male and eight female patients; mean age, 20.1 years; range, 12-30 years), as well as in 18 age-matched control subjects (nine male and nine female; mean age, 20.2 years; range, 11-28 years). Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) were generated, and small elliptic regions of interest were manually placed both in perilesional NAWM and in six anatomic locations of NAWM remote from hamartomatous lesions. Perilesional ADCs were compared with those at the same anatomic site on the contralateral side of the brain (generalized linear regression analysis). ADCs from the predetermined sites in patients were compared with those in control subjects (generalized linear regression analysis).

Results: Supratentorial ADCs were higher in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex than in control subjects, and statistically significant differences were observed in the occipital white matter, frontal white matter, centrum semiovale, parietal white matter, and corona radiata (for each location, P <.001). Significant increases were also seen in the perilesional NAWM compared with NAWM at the same anatomic locations on the contralateral side (P <.001). Infratentorial ADCs were normal.

Conclusion: Significant ADC increases were measured in the supratentorial NAWM.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Edema / diagnosis*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / diagnosis*