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Abstract #0843

Fixel-based analysis of white matter fibre density and morphology in the preterm brain.

Diliana Pecheva1, Jacques-Donald Tournier1, Maximilian Pietsch1, Daan Christiaens1, Dafnis Batalle1, Daniel C. Alexander2, Mary A. Rutherford1, Joseph V. Hajnal1, A. David Edwards1, Hui Zhang2, and Serena J. Counsell1

1Centre for the Developing Brain, King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 2Centre for Medical Image Computing, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Fixel-based analysis (FBA) provides measures of fibre cross-section (FC) and fibre density (FD) for individual fibre populations within voxels containing crossing fibres, overcoming the limitations of the diffusion tensor model. FBA was applied to a preterm neonatal cohort to assess the effects of perinatal risk factors on white matter, identifying decreases in FD and FC in distinct fibre populations associated with increased prematurity, low birthweight, respiratory support and parenteral nutrition. We show that aberrant white matter development previously attributed to microstructural changes may be related to alterations in the cross-sectional area of specific fibre bundles at the macroscopic scale.

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