AIM: To investigate if Multiple Sclerosis (MS) lesion characteristics affect functional brain connectivity (FC) during bladder voiding.
METHODS: Twenty-seven ambulatory female patients with MS completed our functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)/urodynamic testing (UDS) platform. Individual fMRI activation maps were generated at initiation of voiding. FC patterns of these regions were calculated and compared. Similarity of the FC pattern from one patient relative to all others was expressed by a parameter FC_sim. A statistical analysis was performed to reveal the relationship of the existence of an enhancing brain lesion, the size of the largest lesion and the ability to void spontaneously to this FC similarity measure.
RESULTS: FC_sim values were significantly lower for patients with an enhancing MS lesion (11.7 ± 3.1 vs 5.3 ± 2.1 P < 0.001). Lesion size smaller than 20 mm inversely correlated significantly with FC_sim (R = -0.43, P = 0.05). Patients with the ability to void spontaneously had a higher FC_sim value (12.0 ± 2.8 vs 9.3 ± 4.4 s, P = 0.08). Patients that exhibited a decrease of compliance also showed a significantly lower FC_sim value (11.3 ± 3.5 vs 4.7 ± 0.7, P < 1e-5).
CONCLUSION: FC connectivity analysis derived from an fMRI task-based study including repetitive voiding cycles is able to quantify the heterogeneity of connectivity patterns in the brain of MS patients. FC similarity decreased with maximum lesion size or the presence of enhancing lesions affecting the ability to void spontaneously.
- functional connectivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology