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Altered functional connectivity of the default mode network in diffuse gliomas measured with pseudo-resting state fMRI.


The purpose of the current study was to explore whether brain tumors disrupt the integrity of the default mode network (DMN), a well-characterized resting-state fMRI network. We evaluated whether tumor grade, volume, post-surgical/clinical status, or location decreased the functional connectivity within the DMN in patients with gliomas. Task-based fMRI data was obtained from 68 diffuse glioma patients and 12 healthy volunteers. Pseudo-resting state fMRI data was calculated from task-based fMRI data using standard techniques. Data was preprocessed and DMN integrity was compared across WHO grade, tumor volume surgical status (new vs. recurrent tumors), age, and KPS using univariate and multivariate linear models. WHO grade was the most significant predictor of DMN integrity (P = 0.004), whereas T2 hyperintense lesion volume was not a predictor (P = 0.154). DMN integrity was lower in high-grade (WHO III–IV) compared with low-grade (WHO II) patients (P = 0.020). Tumors in the left parietal lobe showed a more impaired DMN compared with tumors in the frontal lobe, while tumors within and outside the network nodes did not differ significantly. Results suggest higher tumor grade along with prior surgery and/or treatment cause the largest reduction in DMN functional connectivity in patients with primary gliomas, and that tumor location has an impact on connectivity.

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