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Neuropediatrics. 1997 Apr;28(2):97-105.

MRI assessment of myelination of motor and sensory pathways in the brain of preterm and term-born infants.

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Department of Child Neurology, Free University Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A study was performed in 48 neurologically normal preterm and term-born infants, with a postconceptional age at MRI varying between 30 2/7 and 46 weeks and a mean age of 34 2/7 weeks. The purpose of the study was to determine the normal progress of myelination on MRI in that age range. T1- and T2-weighted images of the brain were assessed for changes in signal intensity of white matter relative to gray matter. Multiple sites in the brainstem, cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres were assessed separately. The findings were correlated with the ages of the infants. As judged from relative signal intensities, myelin was present at the post-conceptional age of 30-34 weeks in the following structures: tegmentum pontis (in particular medial lemniscus), superior and inferior colliculi, decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncles, crura cerebri, ventrolateral thalamus, lateral globus pallidus, dorsolateral putamen, dentate nucleus, middle and superior cerebellar peduncles, vermis cerebelli, cortex bordering the central sulcus and hippocampus. Little progress in myelination was noticed up to the post-conceptional age of 46 weeks. Between 34 and 46 weeks, myelin appeared in the lateral part of the posterior limb of the internal capsule and in the central part of the corona radiata and became more prominently visible in the cortex bordering the central sulcus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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