Effect of patient sex on white matter alterations in unilateral medial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis assessed by diffusion tensor imaging
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Studies shows ictal behavior and symptoms are affected by patient sex in temporal lobe epilepsy. The purpose of our study was to determine whether alterations in the WM as assessed by DTI display different patterns in male and female patients with unilateral HS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with unilateral HS were categorized as women with right HS ( n=12), men with right HS ( n=10), women with left HS ( n=12), and men with left HS ( n=10). DTI of the brain along 64 noncollinear directions was obtained from 44 patients and 37 sex-matched control participants. We used TBSS to analyze whole-brain WM. Regions with significant changes of FA and MD, and their mean FA, MD, total number of significant voxels, and asymmetry indices were determined for each group. RESULTS: All groups showed bilateral and extensive reductions of FA and elevated MD in the WM, more prominent ipsilateral to the affected hippocampus. The total number of voxels with decreased FA in patients compared with that of control participants was higher in women with right HS (24,727 vs 5,459) and in men with left HS (27,332 vs 14,013) than in their counterparts. Changes in MD associated with right HS were more extensive in both men and women (right vs left HS, women: 16,926 vs 5,458; men: 5,389 vs 4,764) than in those with left HS. In patients with right HS, the ipsilateral cingulum, uncinate fasciculus, internal and external capsules, and right acoustic radiation were involved extensively in women. CONCLUSIONS: Women and men showed different patterns in extent of WM alterations associated with HS.