Xianjun Li1, 2, Jie Gao1, Yumiao Zhang1, Xue Luo1, 2, Jianghong Han1, Gang Niu1, Mingxi Wan2, Ed X. Wu3, Jian Yang1, 2
1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; 3Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
The purpose of this study was to investigate the white matter changes of diffusion parameters derived from white matter model of diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) in preterm and term neonates using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis. In this study, 38 neonates with postmenstrual ages of 33 to 42 weeks were studied, including 19 preterm neonates and 19 term neonates. The results showed that significant increase of intra-axonal diffusivity without significant changes of axial diffusivity in extra-axonal space and radial diffusivity in extra-axonal space in genu of corpus callosum and body of corpus callosum, reflecting the increase of the alignment, caliber and number of axons. In posterior limb of internal capsule and splenium of corpus callosum, increased diffusion kurtosis or restriction were accompanied by the reduced diffusivity in radial direction. Such diffusivity and kurtosis analysis can be valuable to our understanding the white matter changes in intra-axon and extra-axon space during early development.