Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Developing Visual Cortex and Visual White Matter Pathways in Premature Newborns
Vigneron D, Veeraraghavan S, Barkovich A, Held R, Mukherjee P
University of California, UCSF/UCB
MR- DTI is a powerful method for the analysis of white and gray matter formation in pre-term infants. In this study, an MR compatible incubator and specialized neonate head coil was used to acquire 41 MR-DTI scans from 29 premature newborns with normal neurodevelopmental outcome at one year. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of the gray matter of the primary visual cortex decreased and white matter of the optic radiations increased with age, respectively. Diffusivity orthogonal to the length of the optic radiations decreased with age. The diffusivity changes did not differ significantly between the hemispheres or genders.