J Clin Neurol.  2020 Jan;16(1):116-123. 10.3988/jcn.2020.16.1.116.

Individual-Level Lesion-Network Mapping to Visualize the Effects of a Stroke Lesion on the Brain Network: Connectograms in Stroke Syndromes

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym Neurological Institute, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea. jaesunglim@hallym.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea.
  • 3Center for Neuroscience Imaging Research, Institute for Basic Science, Suwon, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Similar-sized stroke lesions at similar locations can have different prognoses in clinical practice. Lesion-network mapping elucidates network-level effects of lesions that cause specific neurologic symptoms and signs, and also provides a group-level understanding. This study visualized the effects of stroke lesions on the functional brain networks of individual patients.
METHODS
We enrolled patients with ischemic stroke who were hospitalized within 1 week of the stroke occurrence. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed 3 months after the index stroke. For image preprocessing, acute stroke lesions were visually delineated based on diffusion-weighted images obtained at admission, and the lesion mask was drawn using MRIcron software. Correlation matrices were calculated from 280 brain regions using the Brainnetome Atlas, and connectograms were visualized using in-house MATLAB code.
RESULTS
We found characteristic differences in connectograms between pairs of patients who had comparable splenial, frontal cortical, cerebellar, and thalamocapsular lesions. Two representative patients with bilateral thalamic infarctions showed significant differences in their reconstructed connectograms. The cognitive function had recovered well at 3 months after stroke occurrence in patients with well-maintained interhemispheric and intrahemispheric connectivities.
CONCLUSIONS
This pilot study has visualized the effects of stroke lesions on the functional brain networks of individual patients. Consideration of the neurobiologic mechanisms underlying the differences between their connectograms has yielded new hypotheses about differences in the effects of stroke lesions.

Keyword

functional neuroimaging; magnetic resonance imaging; connectome; cerebral infarction

MeSH Terms

Brain*
Cerebral Infarction
Cognition
Connectome
Functional Neuroimaging
Humans
Infarction
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Masks
Neurologic Manifestations
Pilot Projects
Prognosis
Stroke*
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