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The yield of structural magnetic resonance imaging in autism spectrum disorders.

Authors
  • Lisy, Jiri1
  • Efremova, Andrea2
  • Hrdlicka, Michal2
  • 1 Department of Radiology, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic. , (Czechia)
  • 2 Department of Child Psychiatry, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic. , (Czechia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biomedical papers of the Medical Faculty of the University Palacky, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
163
Issue
4
Pages
374–378
Identifiers
DOI: 10.5507/bp.2018.074
PMID: 30546152
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The aim of our study was to assess the yield of routine brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed at our hospital as part of the diagnostic procedures focused on autism. Our retrospective study involved children who had attended a diagnostic examination focused on autism and underwent brain MRIs between 1998-2015. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition was used to make clinical diagnoses. In 489 children (404 boys, 85 girls; mean age 8.0±4.2 years), a diagnosis of a pervasive developmental disorder was confirmed. Forty-five children, where the autism diagnosis was ruled out (but other psychiatric diagnoses found), served as a control group (36 boys, 9 girls; mean age 7.0±2.4 years). We can assume that in such a control group, brain abnormalities might occur at a higher frequency than in truly healthy children which would have the effect of reducing the difference between the groups. MRI pathologies were more common in the autistic (45.4 %) compared to the control group (31.8%) but the difference was significant only at the trend level (P=0.085). Hypoplasia of the corpus callosum (CC) was significantly more common in the autistic vs. the control group (13.7 vs. 0%; P=0.009). In contrast, nonmyelinated areas of white matter were significantly more common in controls (31.8 vs.17.3%; P=0.018). Differences in other parameters were not significant. The occurrence of CC hypoplasia on routine MRI scans could represent a "red flag" for suspicion of autism.

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