Disruption of specific white matter tracts is associated with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction in women with multiple sclerosis

Darshil Choksi, Bradley Schott, Khue Tran, Ryan Jang, Khader M. Hasan, John A. Lincoln, Ali Jalali, Christof Karmonik, Betsy Salazar, Rose Khavari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify specific white matter tracts (WMTs) whose disruption is associated with the severity of neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) in two independent cohorts of women with multiple sclerosis (MS) and NLUTD. Methods: Cohort 1 consisted of twenty-eight women with MS and NLUTD. The validation cohort consisted of 10 women with MS and NLUTD. Eleven healthy women served as controls. Participants of both MS cohorts had the same inclusion and exclusion criteria. Both MS cohorts and the healthy controls underwent the same clinical assessment and functional MRI (fMRI) protocol, except that the validation MS cohort underwent 7-Tesla fMRI scan. Fifteen WMTs (six coursing to relevant brainstem areas) involved in bladder control were a priori regions of interest (ROI). Spearman's correlation test was performed between each the Fractional Anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) of each WMT and the clinical parameters. Results: Overall, we found a very high degree of overlap (100% of a priori ROI) in the tracts identified by our correlation analysis as having the greatest contribution to NLUTD symptoms in MS women. The right inferior cerebellar peduncle, left posterior limb of internal capsule, and left superior cerebellar peduncle displayed significant associations to the greatest number of clinical parameters. Conclusions: Our correlation analysis supports the role of specific WMT disruptions in the contribution of symptoms in women with MS and NLUTD, as confirmed in two independent MS cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis/complications
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Urinary Bladder/diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter/diagnostic imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging/methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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