MRI factors associated with cognitive functioning after acute onset brain injury: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Marlous M.L.H. Verhulst*, Astrid B. Glimmerveen, Caroline M. van Heugten, Rick C.G. Helmich, Jeannette Hofmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Impairments of memory, attention, and executive functioning are frequently reported after acute onset brain injury. MRI markers hold potential to contribute to identification of patients at risk for cognitive impairments and clarification of mechanisms. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize and value the evidence on MRI markers of memory, attention, and executive functioning after acute onset brain injury. We included ninety-eight studies, on six classes of MRI factors (location and severity of damage (n = 15), volume/atrophy (n = 36), signs of small vessel disease (n = 15), diffusion-weighted imaging measures (n = 36), resting-state functional MRI measures (n = 13), and arterial spin labeling measures (n = 1)). Three measures showed consistent results regarding their association with cognition. Smaller hippocampal volume was associated with worse memory in fourteen studies (pooled correlation 0.58 [95% CI: 0.46–0.68] for whole, 0.11 [95% CI: 0.04–0.19] for left, and 0.34 [95% CI: 0.17–0.49] for right hippocampus). Lower fractional anisotropy in cingulum and fornix was associated with worse memory in six and five studies (pooled correlation 0.20 [95% CI: 0.08–0.32] and 0.29 [95% CI: 0.20–0.37], respectively). Lower functional connectivity within the default-mode network was associated with worse cognition in four studies. In conclusion, hippocampal volume, fractional anisotropy in cingulum and fornix, and functional connectivity within the default-mode network showed consistent associations with cognitive performance in all types of acute onset brain injury. External validation and cut off values for predicting cognitive impairments are needed for clinical implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103415
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Volume38
Early online date23 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Acute onset brain injury
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Postanoxic encephalopathy
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • UT-Gold-D

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