Fractional anisotropy and diffusivity changes in thyroid-associated orbitopathy

Ji Sung Han, Hyung Suk Seo, Young Hen Lee, Hwa Lee, Sang il Suh, Eun Kee Jeong, Nabraj Sapkota, Ki Joon Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: To investigate the extraocular muscle (EOM) changes in thyroid-associated orbitopathy (TAO) on DTI and the correlations between DTI parameters and clinical features. Methods: Twenty TAO patients and 20 age- and sex-matched controls provided informed consent and were enrolled. Ten-directional DTI was acquired in orbit. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean, axial, and radial diffusivities were obtained at medial and lateral EOMs in both orbits. EOM thickness was measured in patients using axial CT images. FA and diffusivities were compared between patients and controls. The relationships between DTI values and muscle thickness and exophthalmos were evaluated. DTI values compared between patients in active and inactive phases by clinical activity score of TAO. DTI values were also compared between acute and chronic stages by the duration of disease. Results: In medial EOM, FA was significantly lower in patients (p < 0.001) and negatively correlated with muscle thickness (r = −0.604, p < 0.001). Radial diffusivity was significantly higher in patients (p = 0.010) and correlated with muscle thickness (r = 0.349, p = 0.027). In lateral EOM, DTI values did not differ between patients and controls. In the acute stage, the diffusivities of the medial rectus EOM were increased compared with the chronic stage. DTI values of the medial and lateral rectus EOM did not differ significantly between active and inactive phases. Conclusion: DTI can be used to diagnose TAO with FA and radial diffusivity change in EOM. Diffusivities can be used to differentiate acute and chronic stage of TAO. However, DTI values showed limitation in reflecting TAO activity according to the CAS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1189-1196
    Number of pages8
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by the Korea University College of Medicine (K1325441) and the Department of Radiology, Korea University College of Medicine (KUMCRG 06142).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


    • Diffusion tensor imaging
    • Extraocular muscle
    • MRI
    • Thyroid associated orbitopathy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
    • Clinical Neurology
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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