Evidence for sex differences in morphological abnormalities in type I Chiari malformation.Neuroradiol J. 2019 Dec; 32(6):458-466.NJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Relatively little is known about the influence of individual difference variables on the presentation of macro-level brain morphology in type I Chiari malformation (CMI). The goal of the present study is to examine how case-control differences in Chiari are affected by patient sex.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patient-provided magnetic resonance images were acquired through the Chiari 1000 database. Twenty-four morphometric measurements were taken using mid-sagittal images of 104 participants (26 male CMI, 26 female CMI, 26 male controls, and 26 female controls) using internally developed and validated custom software, Morphpro. Case-control comparisons were conducted separately by sex using healthy controls matched by age and body mass index. Probability-based t-tests, effect sizes (Cohen's d), and confidence intervals were used to compare case-control differences separately by sex.
Male and female case-control comparisons yielded largely the same trends of CMI-related morphometric abnormalities. Both groups yielded reductions in posterior cranial fossa (PCF) structure heights. However, there was evidence for greater PCF structure height reductions in male CMI patients as measured by Cohen's d.
Case-control differences indicated strong consistency in the morphometric abnormalities of CMI malformation in males and females. However, despite the higher prevalence rates of CMI in females, the results from the present study suggest that male morphometric abnormalities may be greater in magnitude. These findings also provide insight into the inconsistent findings from previous morphometric studies of CMI and emphasize the importance of controlling for individual differences when conducting case-control comparisons in CMI.