Claire E. Kelly1, 2, Jeannie L.Y. Cheong, 13, Carly Molloy1, Peter J. Anderson1, Alan Connelly4, Lex W. Doyle, 13, Deanne K. Thompson1, 2
1Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; 2University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; 3Royal Women's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; 4Melbourne Brain Centre, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Abnormal optic radiation microstructure may underlie visual impairments in preterm adolescents. Optic radiations were tracked with Constrained Spherical Deconvolution and average fractional anisotropy and axial, radial and mean diffusivity were obtained in 196 extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight adolescents and 144 normal birth weight controls from the Victorian Infant Collaborative Studies (VICS). Preterm adolescents displayed higher axial, radial and mean diffusivity than controls. Abnormal diffusion measures were associated with impaired visual acuity in the preterm group. Results suggest that optic radiation microstructural abnormalities in preterm populations persist into adolescence and are important contributors to impaired visual function.