Sex Differences in White Matter Diffusion Anisotropy in the Normal Pediatric Population
Schmithorst V, Holland S, DiFrancesco M, Dardzinski B
Children's Hospital Medical Center
Possible sex differences in diffusion fractional anisotropy (FA) of brain white matter were investigated in a cohort of normal children ages 5-18. A modified voxelwise analysis technique was utilized which reduces the risk of spurious results due to imperfect spatial normalization. Boys displayed greater FA in inferior fronto-temporal white matter, the genu of the corpus callosum, the corticospinal tract, and left inferior parietal white matter; no regions were found with greater FA in girls. Post-hoc analyses revealed no sex-by-age interaction effects. The results indicate different developmental trajectories in white matter maturation between boys and girls.