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Abstract #2025

White Matter Maturation of Normal Human Fetal Brain-An in Vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging Tractography Study

Emilie ZANIN1, Jean-Philippe Ranjeva1, Sylviane Confort-Gouny1, Maxime Guye1, Danielle Denis2, Patrick J. Cozzone1, Nadine GIRARD1

1CRMBM UMR CNRS 6612, Marseille, France; 2CHU Nord, Marseille, France

Objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of DTI tractography, to assess in vivo and in utero a crucial stage of human fetal brain development: the white matter maturation. We observed that evolution of diffusion characteristics during gestation were different for cortical spinal tract, optic radiations, anterior, middle and posterior part of corpus callosum reflecting the presence of structural heterogeneity between these large WM tracts during gestation. Non-linear curve fittings of normalized longitudinal and radial water diffusivities as a function of age identify 3 different phases of maturation with specific dynamics for each WM bundle type.