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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 265306, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/265306
Research Article

Functional MRI Examination of Visual Pathways in Patients with Unilateral Optic Neuritis

1Sezione Scienze Radiologiche, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Specialistiche ed Odontostomatologiche, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Tronto 10/A, 60126 Ancona, Italy
2Sezione Neuroscienze Cliniche, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy
3Sezione di Neuroscienze e Biologia Cellulare, Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy

Received 9 March 2012; Accepted 28 May 2012

Academic Editor: Kyousuke Kamada

Copyright © 2012 Giulia Mascioli 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.

Abstract

The relations between brain areas involved in vision were explored in 8 patients with unilateral acute optic neuritis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). In all patients monocular stimulation of affected and unaffected eye elicited significantly different activation foci in the primary visual cortex (V1), whereas the foci evoked in the middle temporal visual area (area V5) were similar in size and in delay of blood-oxygen-level-dependent response. DTI analysis documented lower white matter anisotropy values and reduced fibre reconstruction in the affected compared with the unaffected optic nerves. The preserved activation of area V5 observed in all our patients is an interesting finding that suggests the notion of a different sensitivity of the optic pathways to inflammatory changes.