Jae W. Song1, Rebecca D. Folkerth2, P. Ellen Grant1, Emi Takahashi1
1Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging & Developmental Science Center, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, United States; 2Pathology, Brigham And Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States
We characterized the development of white matter pathways and compared structural hemispheric differences. Human fetal brains at post-gestational week (W) 17, W20, W30, W34, W40, and 2years were imaged using a 4.7T Bruker (Ex Vivo specimens) and 3T Siemens (In Vivo subjects) MR system. Migration-related, limbic and cortico-cortical fiber pathways were segmented using high-angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography, and fractional anisotropy, apparent diffusion coefficients, trajectories and volumes were compared using an asymmetry index. Asymmetric hemispheric developmental pathways were observed as early as 17W with a gradual right-ward and left-ward asymmetry by 2years in some limbic and cortico-cortical pathways, respectively.