Introduction: The contribution of radial migration lines (RMLs) to the neuroanatomical and neurocognitive phenotype of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is unclear. The aim of this study was to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the neuroradiological phenotype of TSC, distinguishing RMLs from normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and volumetric fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging. Methods: Magnetic resonance images of 30 patients with TSC were evaluated. The frequencies of RMLs, tubers, and subependymal nodules (SENs) were determined for every hemispheric lobe. Cerebellar lesions and subependymal giant cell tumors were counted. DTI metrics were obtained from the NAWM of every hemispheric lobe and from the largest RML and tuber. Analyses of variance and correlations were performed to investigate the associations between neuroanatomical characteristics and relationships between RML frequency and neurocognitive outcomes. NAWM DTI metrics were compared with measurements of 16 control patients. Results: A mean of 47 RMLs, 27 tubers, and 10 SENs were found per patient, and the frequencies of these lesions were strongly correlated (p < 0.001). RML fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity were strongly inversely correlated (p = 0.003). NAWM DTI metrics were similar to the controls (p = 0.26). RML frequency was strongly associated with age of seizure onset (p = 0.003), intelligence outcomes (p = 0.01), and level of autistic features (p = 0.007). Conclusion: A detailed neuroradiological phenotype is presented, showing that RMLs are the most frequent neuroanatomical lesion, are responsible for white matter DTI abnormalities, and are strongly associated with age of seizure onset, intelligence outcomes, and level of autistic features.

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Neuroradiology: a journal devoted to neuroimaging and interventional neuroradiology
Department of Neuroscience

van Eeghen, A., Terán, L. O., Johnson, J., Pulsifer, M., Thiele, E., & Caruso, H. M. (2013). The neuroanatomical phenotype of tuberous sclerosis complex: Focus on radial migration lines. Neuroradiology: a journal devoted to neuroimaging and interventional neuroradiology, 55(8), 1007–1014. doi:10.1007/s00234-013-1184-3