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Functional Brain Abnormalities in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma After Radiotherapy

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W Ren

W Ren*, J Dai , C Sun , National Cancer Center / Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Scienc, Beijing, Beijing


WE-RAM2-GePD-IT-5 (Wednesday, August 2, 2017) 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Room: Imaging ePoster Theater

Purpose: It is unclear why nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients emerge neurocognitive complications after radiotherapy and how the radiotherapy affects their brain functions. This pilot study is aimed at exploring the brain functional alterations after radiotherapy and its relationship with radiation dose.

Methods: A total of 20 NPC patients were recruited in this study. All patients were treated with simultaneous-boost intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Resting-state functional MRI scanning were administered individually during every patient 1 day before initiation of RT and 1 day after completion of RT. Amplitude of low-frequency (0.01–0.08 Hz) fluctuations (ALFF) that characterize regional cerebral functions was calculated by Data Processing Assistant of Resting-State fMRI (DPARSF) software package. Paired T test was used to compare the cerebral functional alterations before and after treatment. Significance was set at P=0.05. The correlation analysis between altered brain functional regions and radiotherapy dose were operated after we found the interesting functional regions.

Results: After radiotherapy, altered ALFF were observed in multi brain regions such as temporal gyrus, hippocampus, occipital gyrus, lingual gyrus, fusiform gyrus and cuneus gyrus which could give explanations of the symptoms in NPC patients. Unexpectedly, there were no correlations between ALFF values and their radiation dose in this study.

Conclusion: Our findings firstly revealed that radiotherapy in NPC patients leads to regional synchronous neural activity changes in a short-term. This result may explain the cognitive deficits in morphological normal-appearing brain of NPC patients after RT. Further relationship between functional regions and radiotherapy dose need to be studied.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation (81402528)

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