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Abstract #3477

Microstructural Variations in Intra-axonal and Extra-axonal Spaces Associated with Punctate White Matter Lesions in Preterm Infants Reveal by White Matter Tract Integrity Metrics

Mengxuan Li1, Xianjun Li1, Qinli Sun1, Miaomiao Wang1, Congcong Liu1, Yannan Cheng1, Xiaocheng Wei2, and Jian Yang1

1Department of Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China, 2MR Research China, GE Healthcare,Beijing,People's Republic of China, BengJing, China

Punctate white matter lesions (PWML) are common in preterm infants. Extensive microstructural changes were observed previously. However, specific changes related to axons and extra-axonal structures remain to be investigated. White matter tract integrity (WMTI) metrics derived from diffusion kurtosis imaging provide information of intra-axonal or extra-axonal spaces. This study aimed to use these metrics to quantify specific variations associated with PWML. Besides reduced fractional anisotropy and increased radial diffusivity, increased diffusivities in extra-axonal and intra-axonal spaces were found. Furthermore, tortuosity and fiber dispersion decreased obviously. These results suggested that PWML would influence axonal reorganization as well as extra-axonal structural integrity.

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