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Abstract #1753

White Matter Microstructure in Moderate and Late Preterm Infants assessed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics

Deanne K Thompson 1,2 , Claire E Kelly 1 , Alexander Leemans 3 , Lillian Gabra Fam 1,4 , Marc L Seal 1,4 , Lex W Doyle 1,5 , Peter J Anderson 1,4 , Alicia J Spittle 1,5 , and Jeanie LY Cheong 1,5

1 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 2 Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 3 Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 4 Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 5 Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Few studies have investigated the effects of moderate or late preterm birth (MLPT, 32+0-36+6 weeks gestation) on brain development using MRI. This study compared whole brain white matter microstructure between 185 MLPT infants and 70 term-born controls (born ≥37 weeks gestation) at term-equivalent age using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis of diffusion tensor data. There were widespread regions of lower fractional anisotropy and higher axial, radial and mean diffusivities in MLPT infants than controls, suggesting that white matter microstructure is altered in MLPT infants compared with controls. MLPT infants may be at higher risk of altered white matter development than previously recognised.

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