Subcortical shape and volume abnormalities in an elderly HIV+ cohort

Benjamin S C Wade, Victor Valcour, Edgar Busovaca, Pardis Esmaeili-Firidouni, Shantanu H. Joshi, Yalin Wang, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Over 50% of HIV+ individuals show significant impairment in psychomotor functioning, processing speed, working memory and attention [1, 2]. Patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy may still have subcortical atrophy, but the profile of HIV-associated brain changes is poorly understood. With parametric surface-based shape analyses, we mapped the 3D profile of subcortical morphometry in 63 elderly HIV+ subjects (4 female; age=65.35 ± 2.21) and 31 uninfected elderly controls (2 female; age=64.68 ± 4.57) scanned with MRI as part of a San Francisco Bay Area study of elderly people with HIV. We also investigated whether morphometry was associated with nadir CD4+ (T-cell) counts, viral load and illness duration among HIV+ participants. FreeSurfer was used to segment the thalamus, caudate, putamen, pallidum, hippocampus, amygdala, accumbens, brainstem, callosum and ventricles from brain MRI scans. To study subcortical shape, we analyzed: (1) the Jacobian determinant (JD) indexed over structures' surface coordinates and (2) radial distances (RD) of structure surfaces from a medial curve. A JD less than 1 reflects regional tissue atrophy and greater than 1 reflects expansion. The volumes of several subcortical regions were found to be associated with HIV status. No regional volumes showed detectable associations with CD4 counts, viral load or illness duration. The shapes of numerous subcortical regions were significantly linked to HIV status, detectability of viral RNA and illness duration. Our results show subcortical brain differences in HIV+ subjects in both shape and volumetric domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationBiomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
EditorsBarjor Gimi, Robert C. Molthen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415070
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2015Feb 26 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • HIV
  • Shape analysis
  • Subcortical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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