Background: Corpus callosum thickness measurement on mid-sagittal MRI may be a surrogate marker of brain volume. This is important for evaluation of diseases causing brain volume gain or loss, such as HIV-related brain disease and HIV encephalopathy.
Objective: To determine if thickness of the corpus callosum on mid-sagittal MRI is a surrogate marker of brain volume in children with HIV-related brain disease and in controls without HIV.
Materials and methods: A retrospective MRI analysis in children (<5 years old) with HIV-related brain disease and controls used a custom-developed semi-automated tool, which divided the midline corpus callosum and measured its thickness in multiple locations. Brain volume was determined using volumetric analysis. Overall corpus callosum thickness and thickness of segments of the corpus callosum were correlated with overall and segmented (grey and white matter) brain volume.
Results: Forty-four children (33 HIV-infected patients and 11 controls) were included. Significant correlations included overall corpus callosum (mean) and total brain volume (P = 0.05); prefrontal corpus callosum maximum with white matter volume (P = 0.02); premotor corpus callosum mean with total brain volume (P = 0.04) and white matter volume (P = 0.02), premotor corpus callosum maximum with white matter volume (P = 0.02) and sensory corpus callosum mean with total brain volume (P = 0.02).
Conclusion: Corpus callosum thickness correlates with brain volume both in HIV-infected patients and controls.