The neural mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) are far from being completely understood. The purpose of the present study was to investigate potential white matter (WM) microstructural changes and underlying causes for WM impairment in IBS using diffusion tensor imaging. The present prospective study involved 19 patients with IBS and 20 healthy controls. Whole-brain voxel-wise analyses of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD) were performed by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to localize abnormal WM regions between the 2 groups. We found that IBS patients had significantly reduced FA (P < 0.05) in the splenium of the corpus callosum, the right retrolenticular area of the internal capsule and the right superior corona radiata. We also found increased MD (P < 0.05) in the splenium and body of the corpus callosum, the right retrolenticular area of the internal capsule, the right superior corona radiata and the right posterior limb of the internal capsule. In addition, IBS patients had significantly increased AD (P < 0.05) in the splenium of the corpus callosum, the bilateral retrolenticular area of the internal capsule and the left posterior limb of the internal capsule. We conclude that the WM microstructure is changed in IBS and the underlying pathological basis may be attributed to the axonal injury and loss. These results may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of IBS.
Brain Imaging and Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 14, 2016
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