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Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Oct;36(10):3733-48. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22874. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

Accelerated corpus callosum development in prematurity predicts improved outcome.

Author information

1
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
3
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
4
Imaging Science Institute, University Medical Center, Utrecht, Netherlands.
5
Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
6
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
7
Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
8
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
9
Department of Pediatrics, Washington University in St Louis Medical School, St Louis, Missouri.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine: (1) whether corpus callosum (CC) size and microstructure at 7 years of age or their change from infancy to 7 years differed between very preterm (VP) and full-term (FT) children; (2) perinatal predictors of CC size and microstructure at 7 years; and (3) associations between CC measures at 7 years or trajectories from infancy to 7 years and neurodevelopmental outcomes.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

One hundred and thirty-six VP (gestational age [GA] <30 weeks and/or birth weight <1,250 g) and 33 FT children had usable magnetic resonance images at 7 years of age, and of these, 76 VP and 16 FT infants had usable data at term equivalent age. The CC was traced and divided into six sub-regions. Fractional anisotropy, mean, axial, radial diffusivity and volume were measured from tractography. Perinatal data were collected, and neurodevelopmental tests administered at 7 years' corrected age.

PRINCIPAL OBSERVATIONS:

VP children had smaller posterior CC regions, higher diffusivity and lower fractional anisotropy compared with FT 7-year-olds. Reduction in diffusivity over time occurred faster in VP than FT children (P ≤ 0.002). Perinatal brain abnormality and earlier GA were associated with CC abnormalities. Microstructural abnormalities at 7 years or slower development of the CC were associated with motor dysfunction, poorer mathematics and visual perception.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study is the first to demonstrate an accelerated trajectory of CC white matter diffusion following VP birth, associated with improved neurodevelopmental functioning. Findings suggest there is a window of opportunity for neurorestorative intervention to improve outcomes. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3733-3748, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

MRI; diffusion-weighted imaging; neurodevelopment; preterm; white matter

PMID:
26108187
DOI:
10.1002/hbm.22874
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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