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Abstract #3164

Serial Diffusion Tensor Imaging Demonstrates That the Degree of Prematurity at Birth Is Associated with White Matter Microstructure at Term Equivalent Age But Not to White Matter Microstructure in the Early Neonatal Period.

Britta M. Huening1, 2, Libuse Pazderova1, Gareth Ball1, Nora Tusor1, Nazakat Merchant1, Tomoki Arichi1, Joanna Allsop1, Ursula Felderhoff-Mueser2, Mary Ruthe

1Centre for the Developing Brain, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; 2University Hospital Essen, Essen, NRW, Germany

We studied 50 preterm infants, born at < 33 weeks gestational age (GA) at 2 timepoints; 31 (25+2 - 33) weeks GA and 41+2 (38+6 44+1) weeks GA using tract based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. We observed a dose-dependent relationship between WM FA values at term, but not in the early neonatal period. These data suggest that diffuse WM injury is not an inevitable consequence of preterm birth, and imply there may be a window of opportunity where intervention with appropriate treatments may ameliorate the adverse effects of prematurity on WM development.