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Hippocampal subfield and anterior-posterior segment volumes in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
NeuroImage: Clinical  (IF4.881),  Pub Date : 2021-09-15, DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102816
Shuangwu Liu, Qingguo Ren, Gaolang Gong, Yuan Sun, Bing Zhao, Xiaotian Ma, Na Zhang, Suyu Zhong, Yan Lin, Wenqing Wang, Rui Zheng, Xiaolin Yu, Yan Yun, Dong Zhang, Kai Shao, Pengfei Lin, Ying Yuan, Tingjun Dai, Chuanzhu Yan

Neuroimaging studies of hippocampal volumes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have reported inconsistent results. Our aims were to demonstrate that such discrepancies are largely due to atrophy of different regions of the hippocampus that emerge in different disease stages of ALS and to explore the existence of co-pathology in ALS patients. We used the well-validated King’s clinical staging system for ALS to classify patients into different disease stages. We investigated in vivo hippocampal atrophy patterns across subfields and anterior-posterior segments in different King’s stages using structural MRI in 76 ALS patients and 94 health controls (HCs). The thalamus, corticostriatal tract and perforant path were used as structural controls to compare the sequence of alterations between these structures and the hippocampal subfields. Compared with HCs, ALS patients at King’s stage 1 had lower volumes in the bilateral posterior subiculum and presubiculum; ALS patients at King’s stage 2 exhibited lower volumes in the bilateral posterior subiculum, left anterior presubiculum and left global hippocampus; ALS patients at King’s stage 3 showed significantly lower volumes in the bilateral posterior subiculum, dentate gyrus and global hippocampus. Thalamic atrophy emerged at King’s stage 3. White matter tracts remained normal in a subset of ALS patients. Our study demonstrated that the pattern of hippocampal atrophy in ALS patients varies greatly across King’s stages. Future studies in ALS patients that focus on the hippocampus may help to further clarify possible co-pathologies in ALS.