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Altered Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of the Primary Visual Cortex in Patients with Corneal Ulcer: A Resting-State fMRI Study

Authors Hu SL, Tang LY, Fang JW, Su T, Ge QM, Lin Q, Li B, Shi WQ, Li QY, Liang RB, Shao Y

Received 13 November 2019

Accepted for publication 6 June 2020

Published 23 June 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1571—1581


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Shou-Long Hu,1,2,* Li-Ying Tang,3,* Jian-Wen Fang,2,* Ting Su,3 Qian-Min Ge,2 Qi Lin,2 Biao Li,2 Wen-Qing Shi,2 Qiu-Yu Li,2 Rong-Bin Liang,2 Yi Shao2

1National Center for Children’s Health, MOE Key Laboratory of Major Diseases in Children, Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing Children’s Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100045, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Jiangxi Province Clinical Ophthalmology Institute, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Ophthalmology, Xiang’an Hospital of Xiamen University; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Eye Institute of Xiamen University; Xiamen University School of Medicine, Xiamen 361102, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yi Shao Email [email protected]

Purpose: To investigate differences in the functional connectivity (FC) of the primary visual cortex between patients with corneal ulcer (CU) and healthy controls (HCs) using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Patients and Methods: A total of 30 patients with CU and 30 HCs were closely matched in terms of sex, age, and level of education. Two-sample t-test, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient analyses were used to determine the differences in FC between the two groups, the mean FC value of patients with CU and HCs, and the correlation between FC signal values and clinical manifestations in different brain regions of patients.
Results: The CU group showed significantly elevated FC in the left and right middle frontal gyri and lower FC with the right cuneus compared with the HC group. In addition, the FC of the right cingulate and left superior frontal gyri also increased in the CU group. The receiver operating characteristic curve revealed high diagnostic value in those brain regions.
Conclusion: CU involves aberrant FC of the primary visual cortex in different brain areas, including visual-related and cognitive-related regions. This finding may unveil the underlying neural mechanisms of impaired visual function in CU.

Keywords: corneal ulcer, functional magnetic resonance imaging, resting state, spontaneous brain activity, primary visual cortex

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