Introduction: The influence of sex on the prevalence and clinical manifestations of functional dyspepsia (FD) has recently been a topic of increasing interest. However, brain MRI pathology based on sexual dimorphism in FD has not yet been investigated. The amygdala, which plays a vital role in processing gastrointestinal signals, may be associated with the sex-related pathophysiology of FD.
Methods: We investigated the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of amygdala subregions in patients with FD and healthy subjects as well as the sex differences between male and female FD patients.
Results: The results showed that FD patients manifested altered rsFC in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and centromedial amygdala subregions compared with HS and that female FD patients showed increased BLA rsFC with the insula (INS) and decreased BLA rsFC with the medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex compared with male FD patients and female HS.
Discussion: Our findings suggest that FD females tend to have more severe dysfunction of cognitive-affective processing among the brain regions associated with the salience network, central executive network, and default mode network.