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Pediatr Res. 2011 Mar;69(3):249-54. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182084e54.

Development of corpus callosum in preterm infants is affected by the prematurity: in vivo assessment of diffusion tensor imaging at term-equivalent age.

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Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.


Callosal injury in preterm infants is a key factor affecting neurodevelopmental outcome. We investigated the characteristics of corpus callosum (CC) in preterm infants without apparent white matter lesions. We studied 58 preterm infants divided into three groups of 23-25, 26-29, and 30-33 wk GA. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was obtained at term-equivalent age. The CC was parcellated into the genu, body, isthmus, and splenium. We measured fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of each CC subdivision using tractography and manual region of interest analysis. The cross-sectional areas were also measured. At the isthmus and splenium in the 23-25 GA group, the FA was significantly lower and the size was also significantly reduced. Furthermore, the FA and cross-sectional areas in the posterior CC decreased linearly with decreasing GA. There were no differences in FA and cross-sectional areas in other CC subdivisions, and no differences in ADC in any CC subdivisions, among the GA groups. We demonstrated that preterm infants without apparent white matter lesions affect development of the posterior CC depending on the degree of prematurity.

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