Diffusion tensor imaging provides better understanding of pathophysiology of congenital anomalies, involving central nervous system. This study was aimed to specify the pathogenetic mechanism of heterotopia, proved by diffusion tensor imaging, and establish new findings of heterotopia on fractional anisotropy maps.
Diffusion-weighted imaging data from 11 patients (M : F = 7 : 4, aged from 1 to 22 years, mean = 12.3 years) who visited the epilepsy clinic and received a routine seizure protocol MRI exam were retrospectively analyzed. Fractional anisotropy (FA) maps were generated from diffusion tensor imaging of 11 patients with heterotopia. Regions of interests (ROI) were placed in cerebral cortex, heterotopic gray matter and deep gray matter, including putamen. ANOVA analysis was performed for comparison of different gray matter tissues.
Heterotopic gray matter showed signal intensities similar to normal gray matter on T1 and T2 weighted MRI. The measured FA of heterotopic gray matter was higher than that of cortical gray matter (0.236 ± 0.011 vs. 0.169 ± 0.015, p < 0.01, one way ANOVA), and slightly lower than that of deep gray matter (0.236 ± 0.011 vs. 0.259 ± 0.016, p < 0.01).