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Abstract #1703

Diffusion-weighted MRI as a biomarker in uncompensated vestibular patients - preliminary results.

Angelique Van Ombergen 1 , Ben Jeurissen 2 , Floris Vanhevel 3 , Wim Van Hecke 4 , Vincent Van Rompaey 5 , Jan Sijbers 2 , Stefan Sunaert 6 , Paul Parizel 3 , Paul van de Heyning 5 , and Floris Wuyts 1

1 Antwerp University Research center for Equilibrium and Aerospace, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 2 Vision Lab, Department of Physics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 3 Department of Radiology, Antwerp University Hospital & University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 4 Icometrix, Leuven, Belgium, 5 Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital & University of Antwerp, Belgium, 6 Department of Radiology, University Hospital of the Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Diffusion parameters in uncompensated vestibular patients and healthy controls subjects were investigated. In all subjects multi-shell high angular resolution diffusion weighted (DW) data were acquired and we performed tractography. Significant differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) values were found at the right parietal operculum 2 and cerebellar peduncles. Reduced FA in these regions may explain the symptoms of continuous vertigo and inadequate compensation due to vestibular lesions. This pilot study suggests that diffusion parameters may serve as biomarkers for vestibular induced neuroplasticity and unravel the relationship between brain connectivity and vestibular complaints.

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