Convergence of three parcellation approaches demonstrating cerebellar lobule volume deficits in Alcohol Use Disorder

Edith V. Sullivan, Natalie M. Zahr, Manojkumar Saranathan, Kilian M. Pohl, A. Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Recent advances in robust and reliable methods of MRI-derived cerebellar lobule parcellation volumetry present the opportunity to assess effects of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) on selective cerebellar lobules and relations with indices of nutrition and motor functions. In pursuit of this opportunity, we analyzed high-resolution MRI data acquired in 24 individuals with AUD and 20 age- and sex-matched controls with a 32-channel head coil using three different atlases: the online automated analysis pipeline volBrain Ceres, SUIT, and the Johns Hopkins atlas. Participants had also completed gait and balance examination and hematological analysis of nutritional and liver status, enabling testing of functional meaningfulness of each cerebellar parcellation scheme. Compared with controls, each quantification approach yielded similar patterns of group differences in regional volumes: All three approaches identified AUD-related deficits in total tissue and total gray matter, but only Ceres identified a total white matter volume deficit. Convergent volume differences occurred in lobules I-V, Crus I, VIIIB, and IX. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were <20% for 46 of 56 regions measured and in general were graded: Ceres<SUIT<Hopkins. The most robust correlations were identified between poorer stability in balancing on one leg and smaller lobule VI and Crus I volumes from the Ceres atlas. Lower values of two essential vitamins—thiamine (vitamin B1) and serum folate (vitamin B9)—along with lower red blood cell count, which are dependent on adequate levels of B vitamins, correlated with smaller gray matter volumes of lobule VI and Crus I. Higher γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels, possibly reflecting compromised liver function, correlated with smaller volumes of lobules VI and X. These initial results based on high resolution data produced with clinically practical imaging procedures hold promise for expanding our knowledge about the relevance of focal cerebellar morphology in AUD and other neuropsychiatric conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101974
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alcohol
  • Balance
  • Cerebellum
  • Cognition
  • MRI
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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