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Journal Article


Sun Y, Wang Z, Ding W, Wan J, Zhuang Z, Zhang Y, Liu Y, Zhou Y, Xu J. PLoS One 2013; 8(12): e83473.


Department of Radiology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China.


(Copyright © 2013, Public Library of Science)






It remains unclear whether white matter (WM) changes found in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients are stress-induced or precursors for vulnerability. The current study aimed to identify susceptibility factors relating to the development of PTSD and to examine the ability of these factors to predict the course of longitudinal PTSD. Sixty two victims who had experienced traffic accidents underwent diffusion tensor imaging using a 3.0T MRI system within 2 days after their accidents. Of these, 21 were diagnosed with PTSD at 1 or 6 months using the Clinician-Administered Ptsd Scale (CAPS). Then, 11 trauma-exposed victims with PTSD underwent the second MRI scan. Compared with the victims without PTSD, the victims with PTSD showed decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in WM of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), temporal lobes and midbrain, and increased mean diffusivity (MD) in the vmPFC within 2 days after the traumatic event. Importantly, decreased FA of the vmPFC in the acute phase predicted greater future CAPS scores. In addition, we found decreased FA in the insula in the follow-up scan in the victims with PTSD, which correlated with the decreased FA of the vmPFC in their baseline scan. These results suggested that the WM might have changed within 2 days after the traumatic event in the individuals who would later develop PTSD. Furthermore, decreased FA of the vmPFC could be a possible vulnerability marker predicting future development of PTSD and may provide an outcome prediction of the acquired signs.

Language: en


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