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Abstract #1265

Mapping the preterm newborn brain: a diffusion tensor study of the cerebellums early neural connections

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

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

Altered development of the white matter pathways linking the cerebellum and cerebrum may underlie some of the neurodevelopmental deficits in preterm infants. Few studies have reconstructed these tracts in the neonate brain. This study used probabilistic diffusion tractography to reconstruct the corticopontocerebellar and dentatothalamic tracts at term-equivalent age in 40 very preterm infants (<31 weeks gestation), 40 moderate and late preterm infants (32-36 weeks gestation) and 40 full-term controls (>37 weeks gestation). The corticopontocerebellar tracts were successfully reconstructed with clear delineation of their cortical projections. The dentatothalamic tracts were consistently reconstructed to the level of the superior cerebellar peduncle decussation.

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