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Pediatr Radiol. 1998 Jun;28(6):471-5.

Cerebral MRI of very low birth weight children at 6 years of age compared with the findings at 1 year.

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Department of Pediatrics and Neonatal Medicine, University Hospital of Trondheim, Norway.



We have previously reported the results of cerebral MRI examinations in an unselected year cohort of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants at one year of corrected age. Twenty-one (78 %) of 27 infants had abnormal myelination, mainly in the central occipital white matter (COWM) and in the centrum semiovale (CS), seen on T2-weighted images. Twelve infants had irregular and dilated lateral ventricles. We speculated whether these findings indicated perinatal periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Only two infants had completely normal MRI at age 1 year.


To determine whether the abnormal myelination seen at 1 year of age, was still present, either as delayed myelination or as gliosis caused by perinatal PVL.


In the present study, we report the results of follow-up cerebral MRI in 20 of these infants at 6 years of age.


Most of the children with MRI deviations at 1 year still had abnormalities at 6 years. Abnormal myelination in the central occipital white matter combined with abnormalities in the CS or with ventricular dilatation at age 1 year, presented as gliosis in 12 of 13 children at 6 years of age. Abnormalities solely in the COWM at age 1 year had normalised in two of five children and persisted as delayed myelination in three at age 6 years. Gliotic changes in periventricular white matter were found in 12 of 20 children (60 %). Areas most affected were the CS (11 children) and the COWM (9 children). Delayed myelination in COWM was found in six children (30 %), combined with gliosis in CS in three children. Twelve infants had ventricular dilatation both at 1 and 6 years of age.


The MRI correlates of PVL, i. e. gliosis and ventricular dilatation, are common findings on cerebral MRI at 6 years of age in VLBW infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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