Widespread alterations in the corpus callosum (CC) microstructure and organization have been found in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, few studies have investigated the diffusion characteristics and volume of transcallosal fiber tracts defined by specific cortical projections in ADHD, which is important for identifying distinct functional interhemispheric connection abnormalities. In the current study, an automated fiber-tract quantification (AFQ) approach based on diffusion tensor imaging identified seven CC tracts according to their cortical projections and estimated diffusion parameters and volume among 76 drug-naïve ADHD patients (53 boys and 23 girls) and 37 typically developing children (TDC) (20 boys and 17 girls) matched for age, IQ, and handedness. We found significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the occipital and superior parietal tracts and higher mean diffusivity (MD) in the posterior, superior parietal and anterior frontal tracts in children with ADHD compared with TDC. In addition, lower FA and higher radial diffusivity (RD) in the occipital callosal tract were significantly associated with higher hyperactivity and impulsivity performance in ADHD. In addition, sex-by-diagnosis interactions were observed in the occipital, posterior and superior parietal tracts. Girls with ADHD showed decreased FA and volume in the occipital tract, which were significantly associated with increased impulsivity performance and poor response control, and increased MD in the posterior and superior parietal callosal tracts, which were significantly associated with increased inattention performance, whereas boys with ADHD merely showed decreased volume in the frontal tract. Our results elucidated that sex-specific alterations in the CC tracts potentially underlie ADHD symptomatology and further suggested a differential contribution of abnormalities in different CC tracts to impulsivity and inattention among girls with ADHD.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.