Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (2): 75-82.doi: 10.24920/J1001-9294.2017.010

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Abnormal Alterations of Cortical Thickness in 16 Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot MRI Study

Chen Zhiye1, 2, Zang Xiujuan3, Liu Mengqi1, 2, Liu Mengyu1, Li Jinfeng1, Gu Zhaoyan4, Ma Lin1, *()   

  1. 1Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
    2Department of Radiology, Hainan Branch of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya, Hainan 572013, China
    3Department of Radiology, The Fifth People's Hospital, Shizuishan, Ningxia 753000, China
    4Department of Endocrinology, Hainan Branch of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya, Hainan 572013, China
  • Received:2016-09-09 Published:2017-06-30 Online:2017-06-10
  • Contact: Ma Lin

Objective The aim of this study is to investigate the cerebral cortical thickness changes in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) using a whole brain cortical thickness mapping system based on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).Methods High resolution three-dimensional T1-weighted fast spoiled gradient recalled echo MR images were obtained from 16 patients with T2DM, as well as from 16 normal controls. The whole brain cortical thickness maps were generated, and the cortical thickness of each brain region was calculated according to gyral based regions of interest (ROI) using an automated labeling system by the Freesurfer software. We compared mean cortical thickness at each brain region by the analysis of covariance with age and sex as covariates. The regional difference of the cortical thickness over the whole brain was compared by the analysis of surface-based cortical thickness.Results Mean cortical thicknesses analysis showed bilateral cerebrum in the patients with T2DM (left: 2.52±0.07 mm; right: 2.51±0.08 mm) were significant thinner than those in the normal controls (left: 2.56±0.09 mm; right: 2.56±0.09 mm) (both P<0.05). Regional cortical thinning in T2DM was demonstrated in the paracentral lobule, postcentral gyrus, lateral occipital gyrus, lingual gyrus, precuneus, superior temporal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus and posterior cingulate gyrus, compared to the normal controls. The cortical thickness of left middle cingulate and right inferior temporal gyrus were negatively correlated with the disease course.Conclusion A widespread cortical thinning was revealed in patients with T2DM by the analysis of brain cortical thickness on MR. Our finding supports the idea that T2DM could lead to subtle diabetic brain structural changes.

Key words: type 2 diabetes mellitus, brain, cerebral cortex, cortical thickness, magnetic resonance imaging

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