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Altered intrinsic brain activities in patients with acute eye pain using amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation: a resting-state fMRI study

Authors Pan Z, Li H, Bao J, Jiang N, Yuan Q, Freeberg S, Zhu P, Ye L, Ma M, Huang X, Shao Y

Received 27 August 2017

Accepted for publication 22 November 2017

Published 9 January 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 251—257


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Zhi-Ming Pan,1 Hai-Jun Li,1 Jing Bao,1 Nan Jiang,1 Qing Yuan,1 Shelby Freeberg,2 Pei-Wen Zhu,1 Lei Ye,1 Ming-Yang Ma,1 Xin Huang,1 Yi Shao1

1Department of Ophthalmology and Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Objective: Many previous studies have reported that pain symptoms can lead to significant brain function and anatomical changes, whereas the intrinsic brain activity changes in acute eye pain (EP) patients remain unknown. Using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) method, this study aimed to evaluate the spontaneous brain activity alterations and their relationships with clinical features in acute EP patients.
Participants and methods: A total of 20 patients with EP (15 males and 5 females) and 20 healthy controls (HCs; 15 males and 5 females) closely matched in age, sex, and education underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. The ALFF method was applied to assess spontaneous brain activity changes. The ALFF values of the EP patients were distinguished from those of the HCs using a receiver operating characteristic curve. Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationships between the mean ALFF signal values from many brain regions and the clinical features in EP patients.
Results: Compared with the HCs, acute EP patients had significantly lower ALFF in the left and right precentral/postcentral gyrus and left precuneus. In contrast, acute EP patients showed higher ALFF values in the right and left parahippocampal gyri and left caudate. However, no relationship was observed between the mean ALFF signal values from the different areas and clinical manifestations in the acute EP patients.
Conclusion: We demonstrated that acute EP patients showed abnormal intrinsic brain activities in the precentral/postcentral gyrus and limbic system, which might provide useful information for explaining neural mechanisms in EP patients.

Keywords: eye pain, ALFF, blood oxygenation level dependent, resting state, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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