Deanne Kim Thompson1, Terrie E. Inder2, Leigh Johnston1, Nathan Faggian1, Lex W. Doyle3,4, Gary F. Egan1, V I.B.eS.(Victorian Infant Brain Studies Team) 3
1Neuroimaging, Howard Florey Institute, Centre for Neuroscience, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 2Pediatrics, St Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO, USA; 3Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 4Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Very preterm infants face neurodevelopmental delay, mainly caused by white matter injury. The corpus callosum is the largest white matter fiber tract, important for interhemispheric communication. It has been implicated in impaired cognition and motor functioning. DTI and tractography was used to assess differences between preterm (n=114) and full term (n=24) corpus callosum development. Diffusivity was measured within and along the CC, and tractography provided an estimate of connectivity. Preterm infants demonstrated significantly lower MD and higher FA within the CC, particularly in motor regions. Fibre connectivity was significantly reduced. Delayed development in the preterm CC may have functional consequences.