Holoprosencephaly–topologic variations in a liveborn series: a general model based upon MRI analysis

Takahashi TS, Kinsman S, Makris N, Grant E, Haselgrove C, McInerney S, Kennedy DN, Takahashi TA, Fredrickson K, Mori S, Caviness VS

J. Neurocytol. 2004 Jan;33(1):23-35

PMID: 15173630


We present an MRI-based anatomic analysis of a series of 9 human brains, representing lobar, semilobar and alobar forms of holoprosencephaly. The analysis of these variable forms of the malformation is based upon a topologic systematics established in a prior analysis of a homogeneous set of semilobar malformations. This systematics has the dual advantage that it serves both as a uniform reference for qualitative description and as a quantitative descriptive base for mathematical correlations between parameters of topology and of growth and development. Within this systematics, the prosencephalic midline is divided from caudal to rostral into diencephalic (DD-right and left, subthalamus through suprachiasmatic junction with telencephalon), telencephalic (TT-right and left, suprachiasmatic border of telencephalon midline to hippocampal commissure) and diencephalic-telencephalic (DT-right and left-hippocampal commissure through temporal limb of choroid fissure) segments. The topologic abnormality of the initial semilobar series was expressed in an orderly rostral to caudal gradient along the TT segment. In each malformation, normal midline topology began with a small posterior corpus callosum. Although the topologic anomaly in the present series invariably also involved the TT segment, this involvement was not continuous and was variably associated with anomalies of the DD in 6 and unilaterally of the DT in 1 brain. In the present as well as with the earlier series of HPE malformations but not in “normative brains,” total telencephalic growth is strongly correlated with the length of the midline telencephalic segment. We propose that this system of analysis will be sensitive to the developmental stage and locus of expression of genetic and non-genetic determinants of the formal origin of HPE. For all of the present series, karyotype anlyses were normal. Mutations in the Shh and Zic2 genes were excluded in 2 cases.