Review of corpus callosum topography, analysis of diffusion values for the different callosal fibers and sex differences

Francesca B. Pizzini, G. Tassinari, G. Zoccatelli, S. Magon, F. Alessandrini, P. Rizzo, A. Beltramello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conventional MRI shows the morphology of the corpus callosum (CC), but does not reveal cortical connectivity or structural information on the CC. Here, we applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in conjunction with a tract-tracing algorithm to incorporate cortical connectivity information on the CC in 40 subjects and to detect the main area and sex structural differences. CC parcellation was based on trajectories to different cortical (prefrontal, frontal motor/premotor/supplementary motor connections, parieto-occipital, temporal) and sub-cortical areas (capsular/basal ganglia connections). In agreement with recent DTI studies, we found that motor fibers occupy a much larger portion of the CC than previously believed on the basis of anatomical data. Differences in anisotropy values were instead in agreement with previous morphological evidence of smaller fibers in the anterior and posterior portions of the CC. The main sex difference was observed in anisotropy values in frontal fibers that proved to be lower in females than in males. Statistically significant differences in the regional diffusion parameters and between sexes give rise to many important questions regarding fiber organization patterns, CC microstructure and the functional relevance of these differences and provide evidence for the role of DTI, which reaches beyond the information given by morphological analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Corpus callosum
  • DTI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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