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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00534

Characterizing the Structural Pattern Predicting Medication Responses in Herpes Zoster Patients Using Multivoxel Pattern Analysis

  • 1School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, China
  • 2Shenzhen University, China
  • 3Department of Pain Medicine and Shenzhen Municipal Key Laboratory for Pain Medicine, Shenzhen Sixth Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, China
  • 4Department of Neurosurgery, Shenzhen University General Hospital, China

Herpes zoster (HZ) can cause a blistering skin rash with severe neuropathic pain. Pharmacotherapy is the most common treatment for HZ patients. However, most of these patients are the elderly and immunocompromised, thus often suffering from side effects and easily getting intractable post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) if medication fails. It is challenging for clinicians to tailor treatment for patients, due to the lack of prognosis information regarding neurological pathogenesis underlying HZ. In the current study, we aimed at characterizing the brain structural pattern of HZ before medication treatment that could help predict medication responses. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 14 right-handed HZ patients (aged 61.0±7.0, 8 males) with poor response and 15 (aged 62.6±8.3, 5 males) age- (p = 0.58), gender-matched (p = 0.20) patients responding well were acquired and analyzed. Multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) with searchlight algorithm and support vector machine (SVM) was applied to identify the spatial pattern of gray matter (GM) volume with high predicting accuracy. The predictive regions with accuracy higher than 79% located within the cerebellum, posterior insular cortex (pIC), middle and orbital frontal lobes (mFC, OFC), anterior and middle cingulum (ACC, MCC), precuneus (PCu) and cuneus. Among these regions, mFC, pIC and MCC displayed significant increases of GM volumes in patients with poor response than those with good response. Combination of sMRI and MVPA might be a useful tool to explore the neuroanatomical imaging biomarkers of HZ-related pain associating with medication responses.

Keywords: Herpes Zoster, Medication response, structural MRI, multivoxel pattern analysis, prediction

Received: 16 Jan 2019; Accepted: 08 May 2019.

Edited by:

Yuhui Du, Mind Research Network (MRN), United States

Reviewed by:

Minghao Dong, Xidian University, China
Delin Sun, Duke University, United States
Anees Abrol, Mind Research Network (MRN), United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Zeng, Huang, Wu, Qian, Chen, Sun, Tao, Liao, Zhang, Yang, Zhong, Zhang, Xiao and Huang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Bingsheng Huang, School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518037, China,