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Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
To investigate the performance of indirect computed tomography lymphography with iopamidol for detecting cervical lymph node metastases in a tongue VX2 carcinoma model.
Materials and methods:
A metastatic cervical lymph node model was created by implanting VX2 carcinoma suspension into the tongue submucosa of 21 rabbits. Computed tomography images were obtained 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes after iopamidol injection, on days 11, 14, 21 (six rabbits each) and 28 (three rabbits) after carcinoma transplantation. Computed tomography lymphography was performed, and lymph node filling defects and enhancement characteristics evaluated.
Indirect computed tomography lymphography revealed bilateral enhancement of cervical lymph nodes in all animals, except for one animal imaged on day 28. There was significantly slower evacuation of contrast in metastatic than non-metastatic nodes. A total of 41 enhanced lymph nodes displayed an oval or round shape, or local filling defects. One lymph node with an oval shape was metastatic (one of 11, 9.1 per cent), while 21 nodes with filling defects were metastatic (21/30, 70 per cent). The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and positive and negative predictive values when using a filling defect diameter of 1.5 mm as a diagnostic criterion were 86.4, 78.9, 82.9, 82.6 and 83.3 per cent, respectively.
When using indirect computed tomography lymphography to detect metastatic lymph nodes, filling defects and slow evacuation of contrast agent are important diagnostic features.
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