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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 673165, 9 pages
Research Article

Sex Differences of Uncinate Fasciculus Structural Connectivity in Individuals with Conduct Disorder

1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Forensic Medicine, Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, No. 1347 West Guangfu Road, Shanghai 200063, China
2Medical Psychological Institute, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, No. 139 Middle Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China
3Department of Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, No. 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
4Centre of Buddhists Studies, The University of Hong Kong, No. 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
5Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, No. 3688, Nanhai Ave, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518060, China

Received 27 November 2013; Revised 17 February 2014; Accepted 24 March 2014; Published 14 April 2014

Academic Editor: Marta García-Fiñana

Copyright © 2014 Jibiao Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Conduct disorder (CD) is one of the most common behavior disorders in adolescents, such as impulsivity, aggression, and running from school. Males are more likely to develop CD than females, and two previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have demonstrated abnormal microstructural integrity in the uncinate fasciculus (UF) in boys with CD compared to a healthy control group. However, little is known about changes in the UF in females with CD. In this study, the UF was illustrated by tractography; then, the fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity, mean diffusion, radial diffusivity (RD), and the length and number of the UF fiber bundles were compared between male and female patients with CD and between female patients with CD and female healthy controls, as well as between males with CD and healthy males. We found that males with CD showed significantly higher FA of the bilateral UF and significantly lower RD of the left UF when comparing with females with CD. Meanwhile, significantly higher FA and lower RD of the bilateral UF were also found in boys with CD relative to the male healthy controls. Our results replicated previous reports that the microstructural integrity of the UF was abnormal in boys with CD. Additionally, our results demonstrated significant gender effects on the UF of patients with CD, which may indicate why boys have higher rates of conduct problems than girls.