Disrupted focal white matter integrity in autism spectrum disorder: A voxel-based meta-analysis of diffusion tensor imaging studies

Xin Di, Azeezat Azeez, Xiaobo Li, Emad Haque, Bharat B. Biswal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a mental disorder that has long been considered to result from brain underconnectivity. However, volumetric analysis of structural MRI data has failed to find consistent white matter alterations in patients with ASD. The present study aims to examine whether there are consistent focal white matter alterations as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in individuals with ASD compared with typically developing (TD) individuals. Method Coordinate-based meta-analysis was performed on 14 studies that reported fractional anisotropy (FA) alterations between individuals with ASD and TD individuals. These studies have in total 297 subjects with ASD and 302 TD subjects. Results Activation likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis identified two clusters of white matter regions that showed consistent reduction of FA in individuals with ASD compared with TD individuals: the left splenium of corpus callosum and the right cerebral peduncle. Conclusions Consistent focal white matter reductions in ASD could be identified by using FA, highlighting the cerebral peduncle which is usually overlooked in studies focusing on major white matter tracts. These focal reductions in the splenium and the cerebral peduncle may be associated with sensorimotor impairments seen in individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Corpus callosum
  • DTI
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Meta-analysis
  • White matter

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