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Altered cognitive control network is related to psychometric and biochemical profiles in covert hepatic encephalopathy.

Sci Rep; 9(1): 6580, 2019 Apr 29.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31036843
The cognitive control network (CCN) is a network responsible for multiple executive functions, which are impaired in covert hepatic encephalopathy (CHE). We aimed to use functional connectivity (FC) magnetic resonance imaging to test the hypothesis that CHE manifested with disconnection within the CCN, which is associated with impaired neuropsychiatric and biochemical profiles. CHE was detected with abnormally low psychometric hepatic encephalopathy scores (PHES) (total cut-off score <-4). Two seeds in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) were used to calculate the FC map within the CCN. Pearson correlation analysis was performed between the CCN and psychometric, biochemical profiles including ammonia, Interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. Eighteen CHE, 36 non-HE (NHE) cirrhotic patients and 36 controls were studied. Significant differences in FC were noted among groups, which revealed CHE patients had a lower FC in the bilateral lateral occipital cortex (seed in the bilateral dACC) and in the right lateral occipital and precuneus cortices (seed in the left DLPFC) (P < 0.05, corrected) compared with NHE. Progressively decreased FC in the left precentral gyrus within the CCN was noted from control, NHE to CHE. PHES positively and biochemistry negatively correlated with FC in the CCN. In conclusion, CHE patients showed aberrant FC within the CCN which is correlated with both cognitive dysfunction and biochemical profiles. Ammonia and pro-inflammatory cytokines may contribute to the occurrence of aberrant connectivity. Impaired FC within the CCN may serve as a complementary biomarker for CHE.