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Abstract #0276

Quantitative Entire Brain Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Spina Bifida Meningomyelocele Children at 3.0T: Preliminary Evidence of Neurodevelopmental Brain Plasticity

Hasan K, Sankar A, Ewing-Cobbs L, Kramer L, Fletcher J, Dennis M, Brandt M, Hannay J, Blaser S
University of Texas Medical School

Spina Bifida Meningomyelocele (SBM) is a common congenital neurodevelopmental disorder with a rate of 0.5-1 per 1000 live births. SBM is caused by incomplete neural tube closure during the first 5-6 weeks of gestation and results in abnormal function and maturation of the spinal cord and brain. Quantitative MRI of SBM is generally scant. In this report, we present the first diffusion tensor imaging study on SBM children to demonstaret evidence of brain plasticity in SBM, including regions that are not directly affected. In this preliminary report, we have used an optimally designed entire brain DT-MRI protocol at 3.0 T in combination with conventional MRI sequences to document regional differences between 19 healthy pediatric controls and 10 children with SBM.