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Brain connectivity in status epilepticus as a predictor of outcome: A diffusion tensor imaging study.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We aimed to explore structural connectivity in status epilepticus.

METHODS: We enrolled participants who underwent diffusion tensor imaging. We applied graph theory to investigate structural connectivity. We compared the structural connectivity measures between patients and healthy controls and between patients with poor (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] >3) and good (mRS ≤3) admission outcomes.

RESULTS: We enrolled 28 patients and 31 healthy controls (age 65.5 vs.62.0 years, p = .438). Of these patients, 16 and 12 showed poor and good admission outcome (age 65.5 vs.62.0 years, p = .438). The assortative coefficient (-0.113 vs. -0.121, p = .021), mean clustering coefficient (0.007 vs.0.006, p = .009), global efficiency (0.023 vs.0.020, p = .009), transitivity (0.007 vs.0.006, p = .009), and small-worldness index (0.006 vs.0.005, p = .021) were higher in patients with status epilepticus than in healthy controls. The assortative coefficient (-0.108 vs. -0.119, p = .042), mean clustering coefficient (0.007 vs.0.006, p = .042), and transitivity (0.008 vs.0.007, p = .042) were higher in patients with poor admission outcome than in those with good admission outcome. MRS score was positively correlated with structural connectivity measures, including the assortative coefficient (r = 0.615, p = .003), mean clustering coefficient (r = 0.544, p = .005), global efficiency (r = 0.515, p = .007), transitivity (r = 0.547, p = .007), and small-worldness index (r = 0.435, p = .024).

CONCLUSION: We revealed alterations in structural connectivity, showing increased integration and segregation in status epilepticus, which might be related with neuronal synchronization. This effect was more pronounced in patients with a poor admission outcome, potentially reshaping our understanding for comprehension of status epilepticus mechanisms and the development of more targeted treatments.

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