DOI: 10.1007/s12640-016-9690-9 Pages: 453-463

Altered Gray Matter Volume in Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease with Subclinical Cognitive Impairment: an Exploratory Study

1. Nanfang Hospital Affiliated to Southern Medical University, Department of Radiology

2. Nanshan Hospital Affiliated to Guangdong Medical University, Department of Radiology

3. Shandong Normal University, School of Information Science and Engineering

4. The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Department of Radiology

Correspondence to:
Shijun Qiu



Gray matter volume deficits have been identified in cognitively impaired patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, it remains unknown whether the gray matter volume is altered in COPD patients with subclinical cognitive impairment. To determine whether any gray matter abnormalities are present in these patients, neuropsychological tests and structural MRI data were analyzed from 60 patients with COPD and 60 age-, gender-, education-, and handedness-matched normal controls (NCs). The COPD patients had similar Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores compared with the NCs. However, they had reduced Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores for visuospatial and executive and naming and memory functions (P < 0.001). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis revealed that the COPD patients had significantly lowered gray matter volumes in several brain regions, including the left precuneus (PrCU), bilateral calcarine (CAL), right superior temporal gyrus/middle temporal gyrus (STG/MTG), bilateral fusiform gyrus (FG), and right inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (P < 0.01, corrected). Importantly, the forced vital capacity (FVC) was found to be associated with the gray matter volume in the calcarine. The present study confirmed that brain structural changes were present in stable COPD patients with subclinical cognitive impairment. These findings may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of COPD.

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  • Accepted: Dec 12, 2016
  • Online: Dec 22, 2016
  • Revised: Dec 5, 2016

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