Title
Does the use of hormonal contraceptives cause microstructural changes in cerebral white matter? Preliminary results of a DTI and tractography study
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Secaucus, N.J. ,
Subject
Human medicine
Computer. Automation
Source (journal)
European radiology. - Secaucus, N.J.
Volume/pages
23(2013) :1 , p. 57-64
ISSN
0938-7994
ISI
000312324500008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Objective To evaluate the effect of monophasic combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) and menstrual cycle phase in healthy young women on white matter (WM) organization using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Methods Thirty young women were included in the study; 15 women used COCP and 15 women had a natural cycle. All subjects underwent DTI magnetic resonance imaging during the follicular and luteal phase of their cycle, or in different COCP cycle phases. DTI parameters were obtained in different WM structures by performing diffusion tensor fibre tractography. Fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity were calculated for different WM structures. Hormonal plasma concentrations were measured in peripheral venous blood samples and correlated with the DTI findings. Results We found a significant difference in mean diffusivity in the fornix between the COCP and the natural cycle group. Mean diffusivity values in the fornix were negatively correlated with luteinizing hormone and estradiol blood concentrations. Conclusion An important part in the limbic system, the fornix, regulates emotional processes. Differences in diffusion parameters in the fornix may contribute to behavioural alternations related to COCP use. This finding also suggests that the use of oral contraceptives needs to be taken into account when designing DTI group studies.
E-info
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