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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Sep;54(9):809-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04378.x. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

White matter microstructure on diffusion tensor imaging is associated with conventional magnetic resonance imaging findings and cognitive function in adolescents born preterm.

Author information

1
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. hfeldman@stanford.edu

Abstract

AIM:

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to evaluate white matter architecture after preterm birth. The goals were (1) to compare white matter microstructure in two cohorts of preterm- and term-born children; and (2) within preterm groups, to determine if sex, gestational age, birthweight, white matter injury score from conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or IQ was associated with DTI measures.

METHOD:

Participants (n=121; 66 females, 55 males) were aged 9 to 16 years. They comprised 58 preterm children (site 1, n=25; and site 2, n=33) born at less than 36 weeks' gestation (mean 29.4 wks; birthweight 1289g) and 63 term children (site 1, n=40; site 2, n=23) born at more than 37 weeks' gestation. DTI was analyzed using tract-based spatial statistics. Diffusion measures were fractional anisotropy, axial, radial, and mean diffusivity.

RESULTS:

In no region of the white matter skeleton was fractional anisotropy lower in the preterm group at either site. Within the preterm groups, fractional anisotropy was significantly associated with white matter injury score, but not sex, gestational age, or birthweight. At site 1, fractional anisotropy was associated with IQ.

INTERPRETATION:

DTI contributes to understanding individual differences after preterm birth but may not differentiate a relatively high-functioning group of preterm children from a matched group of term-born children.

PMID:
22803787
PMCID:
PMC3683593
DOI:
10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04378.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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