Clinical and neuroimaging findings in patients with lissencephaly/subcortical band heterotopia spectrum: a magnetic resonance conventional and diffusion tensor study

Neuroradiology. 2022 Apr;64(4):825-836. doi: 10.1007/s00234-021-02836-2. Epub 2021 Oct 25.


Purpose: To clarify brain abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its clinical implications in lissencephaly/subcortical band heterotopia (LIS/SBH) spectrum patients.

Methods: The clinical severity and classification according to Di Donato were retrospectively reviewed in 23 LIS/SBH spectrum patients. The morphological and signal abnormalities of the brainstem, corpus callosum, and basal ganglia were also assessed. The brainstem distribution pattern of the corticospinal tract (CST) was analyzed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and categorized into two types: normal pattern, in which the CST and medial lemniscus (ML) are separated by the dorsal portion of the transverse pontine fiber, and the abnormal pattern, in which the CST and ML are juxtaposed on the dorsal portion of a single transverse pontine fiber. Correlations between MR grading score and potential additional malformative findings of the brain and clinical symptoms were investigated.

Results: All patients with grade 3 (n = 5) showed brainstem deformities, signal abnormalities of pontine surface and had a tendency of basal ganglia deformity and callosal hypoplasia whereas those abnormalities were rarely seen in patients with grade 1 and 2 (n = 18). For DTI analysis, the patients with grade 3 LIS/SBH had typically abnormal CST, whereas the patients with grade 1 and 2 LIS/SBH had normal CST. The classification was well correlated with CST and brainstem abnormalities and clinical severity.

Conclusion: MR assessment including DTI analysis may be useful in assessing the clinical severity in LIS/BH spectrum and may provide insight into its developmental pathology.

Keywords: Corticospinal tract; Diffusion tensor imaging; Lissencephaly; Subcortical band heterotopia.

MeSH terms

  • Classical Lissencephalies and Subcortical Band Heterotopias* / diagnostic imaging
  • Classical Lissencephalies and Subcortical Band Heterotopias* / pathology
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging* / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Pyramidal Tracts / diagnostic imaging
  • Pyramidal Tracts / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies