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Radiologia Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1678-7099


NETTO, Tania Maria et al. Correlation between frontal cortical thickness and executive functions performance in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Radiol Bras [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.1, pp.7-12. ISSN 1678-7099.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the correlation between frontal regions cortical thickness measured by magnetic resonance imaging of HIV-positive patients and their performance on instruments for assessing executive functions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study included 22 HIV-positive patients in the age range from 45 to 65, schooling ranging between three and 20 years, with executive functions deficit and undergoing antiretroviral therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed with conventional T1-weighted, 3D sequences and the images were processed with the Freesurfer software to measure cortical thickness. The following instruments were utilized to evaluate the patients' executive functions: Trail Making, Wisconsin, Hayling, working memory (WAIS-III), verbal fluency and Stroop tests. The Pearson's correlation coefficient was utilized in the data statistical analysis. RESULTS: Significant correlations were found between: Wisconsin scores and the thickness of the right pre-central, lateral and left pre-central orbitofrontal regions; Trail Making scores and thickness of right pre-central and left anterior caudal cingulate areas; and Hayling Test scores and thickness of the left lateral orbitofrontal area. CONCLUSION: Correlations between cortical thickness measurements by magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive performance suggest that the executive function deficit in HIV-positive patients are related to a reduction in the thickness of the frontal cortex.

Keywords : Magnetic resonance imaging; Cortical thickness; Frontal lobe; Neuropsychological; Executive functions; HIV.

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