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The T1-weighted/T2-weighted ratio as a biomarker of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis

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Item Type:Article
Title:The T1-weighted/T2-weighted ratio as a biomarker of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis
Creators Name:Hartung, T.J. and Cooper, G. and Jünger, V. and Komnenić, D. and Ryan, L. and Heine, J. and Chien, C. and Paul, F. and Prüss, H. and Finke, C.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis rarely causes visible lesions in conventional MRI, yet advanced imaging detects extensive white matter damage. To improve prognostic capabilities, we evaluate the T1-weighted/T2-weighted (T1w/T2w) ratio, a measure of white matter integrity computable from clinical MRI sequences, in NMDAR encephalitis and examine its associations with cognitive impairment. METHODS: T1-weighted and T2-weighted MRI were acquired cross-sectionally at 3 Tesla in 53 patients with NMDAR encephalitis (81% women, mean age 29 years) and 53 matched healthy controls. Quantitative and voxel-wise group differences in T1w/T2w ratios and associations with clinical and neuropsychological outcomes were assessed. P-values were false discovery rate (FDR) adjusted where multiple tests were conducted. RESULTS: Patients with NMDAR encephalitis had significantly lower T1w/T2w ratios across normal appearing white matter (p=0.009, Hedges' g=-0.51), which was associated with worse verbal episodic memory performance (r=0.39, p=0.005, p(FDR)=0.026). White matter integrity loss was observed in the corticospinal tract, superior longitudinal fascicle, optic radiation and callosal body with medium to large effects (Cohen's d=[0.42-1.17]). In addition, patients showed decreased T1w/T2w ratios in the hippocampus (p=0.002, p(FDR)=0.005, Hedges' g=-0.62), amygdala (p=0.002, p(FDR)=0.005, Hedges' g=-0.63) and thalamus (p=0.010, p(FDR)=0.019, Hedges' g=-0.51). CONCLUSIONS: The T1w/T2w ratio detects microstructural changes in grey and white matter of patients with NMDAR encephalitis that correlate with cognitive performance. Computable from conventional clinical MRI sequences, this measure shows promise in bridging the clinico-radiological dissociation in NMDAR encephalitis and could serve as an imaging outcome measure in clinical trials.
Keywords:Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis, Biomarkers, Hippocampus, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, White Matter
Source:Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
Page Range:366-373
Date:13 March 2024
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2023-332069
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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