Local diffusion homogeneity provides supplementary information in T2DM-related Wm microstructural abnormality detection

Yi Liang, Han Zhang, Xin Tan, Jiarui Liu, Chunhong Qin, Hui Zeng, Yanting Zheng, Yujie Liu, Jingxian Chen, Xi Leng, Shijun Qiu, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We aimed to investigate whether an inter-voxel diffusivity metric (local diffusion homogeneity, LDH), can provide supplementary information to traditional intra-voxel metrics (i.e., fractional anisotropy, FA) in white matter (WM) abnormality detection for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging was acquired from 34 T2DM patients and 32 healthy controls. Voxel-based group-difference comparisons based on LDH and FA, as well as the association between the diffusion metrics and T2DM risk factors [i.e., body mass index (BMI) and systolic blood pressure (SBP)], were conducted, with age, gender and education level controlled. Results: Compared to the controls, T2DM patients had higher LDH in the pons and left temporal pole, as well as lower FA in the left superior corona radiation (p < 0.05, corrected). In T2DM, there were several overlapping WM areas associated with BMI as revealed by both LDH and FA, including right temporal lobe and left inferior parietal lobe; but the unique areas revealed only by using LDH included left inferior temporal lobe, right supramarginal gyrus, left pre- and post-central gyrus (at the semiovale center), and right superior radiation. Overlapping WM areas that associated with SBP were found with both LDH and FA, including right temporal pole, bilateral orbitofrontal area (rectus gyrus), the media cingulum bundle, and the right cerebellum crus I. However, the unique areas revealed only by LDH included right inferior temporal lobe, right inferior occipital lobe, and splenium of corpus callosum. Conclusion: Inter- and intra-voxel diffusivity metrics may have different sensitivity in the detection of T2DM-related WM abnormality. We suggested that LDH could provide supplementary information and reveal additional underlying brain changes due to diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91649117, 81471251, and 81771344), National Major Cultivation Fund (Natural Science) for the Innovative School Projects of Guangdong Provincial Department of Education (2014GKXM034), Guangzhou Science and Technology Planning Project (2018-1002-SF-0442), and NIH grant (AG041721).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 Liang, Zhang, Tan, Liu, Qin, Zeng, Zheng, Liu, Chen, Leng, Qiu and Shen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Local diffusion homogeneity
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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