Aim: The aim of our study was to determine whether the diffusion properties of the
auditory pathways alter between patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and the healthy subjects.
DTI can well demonstrate FA and ADC changes in auditory tracts and it may be a guide to
identify the candidates for hearing loss among NF1 children.
Methods: The study population consisted of 43 patients with NF1 and 21 healthy controls. Diffusion
tensor imaging (DTI) was used to measure apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional
anisotropy (FA) values from lemniscus lateralis, colliculus inferior, corpus geniculatum mediale
and Heschl's gyrus. The results were compared with those of the control group.
Results: The ADC values of lateral lemniscus, colliculus inferior and corpus geniculatum mediale
were significantly higher in NF1 compared to those of the control group. On the other hand, decreased
FA values were observed in lateral lemniscus and colliculus inferior in patients with NF1.
Conclusion: The increase in ADC and reduction in FA in the auditory pathways of patients with
NF1 may suggest microstructural alterations, such as a decrease in the number of axons, edema or
inflammation in the auditory tracts.