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Abstract #2031

Characterization of the Pig Brain as a Neuroimaging Model for Early Human Brain Development: A Combined Structural MRI and DTI Study

Jeff D. Winter1, Jelena Lukovic1, Andrea Kassner1,2

1Physiology and Experimental Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 2Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In this study, we explored the potential of the swine brain for neurodevelopmental imaging by MRI characterization of structural and microstructural changes. We collected anatomical and diffusion tensor images from 11 juvenile (1-12 wk) pigs. A significant positive logarithmic relationship existed between body weight and tissue brain volumes, as well as the surface folding index, a measure of cortical folding. Similar to humans, fractional anisotropy exhibited a logarithmic increase with body weight for all regions investigated. No mean diffusivity changes existed. These results suggest the swine brain may provide an informative model for translational studies of early human brain development.