3 years ago

Altered white matter microarchitecture in the cingulum bundle in women with primary dysmenorrhea: A tract-based analysis study

Wanghuan Dun, Hongjuan Liu, Li Hu, Ming Zhang, Jie Tian, Jixin Liu, Jing Yang, Tao Chen, Junya Mu, Qing Xu
Primary dysmenorrhea (PD), as characterized by painful menstrual cramps without organic causes, is associated with central sensitization and brain function changes. Previous studies showed the integrated role of the default mode network (DMN) in the pain connectome and its key contribution on how an individual perceives and copes with pain disorders. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the cingulum bundle connecting hub regions of the DMN was disrupted in young women with PD. Diffusion tensor imaging was obtained in 41 PD patients and 41 matched healthy controls (HC) during their periovulatory phase. The production of prostaglandins (PGs) was obtained in PD patients during their pain-free and pain phases. As compared with HC, PD patients had similar scores of pain intensity, anxiety, and depression in their pain-free phase. However, altered white matter properties mainly located in the posterior section of the cingulum bundle were observed in PD. Besides PGs being related to menstrual pain, a close relationship was found between the white matter properties of the cingulum bundle during the pain-free phase and the severity of the menstrual pain in PD patients. Our study suggested that PD had trait changes of white matter integrities in the cingulum bundle that persisted beyond the time of menstruation. We inferred that altered anatomical connections may lead to less-flexible communication within the DMN, and/or between the DMN and other pain-related brain networks, which may result in the central susceptibility to develop chronic pain conditions in PD's later life. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4430–4443, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23670

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