Clinical Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2023; 14:970-970.

Abnormal topological organization in white matter structural networks in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with chemotherapy treatment

Liwei Zou, Lianzi Su, Rongmiao Qi, Fang Bao, Xianjing Fang, Longsheng Wang, Zhimin Zhai, Dan Li and Suisheng Zheng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:60568-60575. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19104

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Liwei Zou1,*, Lianzi Su1,*, Rongmiao Qi1,*, Fang Bao1, Xianjing Fang1, Longsheng Wang1, Zhimin Zhai2, Dan Li3 and Suisheng Zheng1,4

1Department of Radiology, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China

2Department of Hematology, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China

3Department of Scientific Research, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China

4Medical Image Research Center, Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China

*Co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Suisheng Zheng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, chemotherapy, network, white matter, diffusion tensor imaging

Received: March 22, 2017     Accepted: June 16, 2017     Published: July 08, 2017


Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have detected white matter (WM) integrity abnormalities in some specific fibre bundles in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) patients with chemotherapy. However, little is known about the changes in the topological organization of the WM structural network in ALL patients with chemotherapy. In the present study, we acquired DTI datasets from 28 ALL patients (mean age: 40.71 ± 8.58 years, years since diagnosis: 7–38) with chemotherapy and 20 matched healthy controls (mean age: 42.95 ± 6.39 years) and performed WM network analysis using a deterministic fibre-tracking approach. Graph theoretical analysis was used to compare the topological parameters of the WM networks between the two groups. Both ALL patients with chemotherapy and healthy controls had small-worldness in their WM networks. ALL patients showed significantly reduced global network efficiency, as indicated by the abnormally decreased clustering coefficient Cp and the normalized clustering coefficient γ and increased shortest path length Lp compared with healthy controls. Moreover, hubs were located more in parietal regions of healthy controls and in temporal regions in the ALL patients. We revealed the abnormal topological organization of the WM networks of ALL patients with chemotherapy, which may improve our understanding of the neural mechanism of chemotherapy in ALL from a WM topological organization level.

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