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Abstract #0227

Longitudinal development of white matter fibre density and morphology in children born very preterm

Claire E Kelly1,2, Deanne K Thompson1,2,3,4, Sila Genc2,5, Jian Chen2, Joseph YM Yang2,3,6,7, Chris Adamson2, Richard Beare2, Marc L Seal2,3, Jeanie LY Cheong1,8,9, Lex W Doyle1,3,8,9, and Peter J Anderson1,10
1Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBeS), Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 2Developmental Imaging, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 3Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 4Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia, 5Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 6Department of Neurosurgery, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 7Neuroscience Research, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 8Newborn Research, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 9Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 10Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

In this long-term follow-up of children following very preterm (VP) birth, we applied fixel-based analysis to study white matter development. At ages 7 and 13 years, VP children had reduced fibre density and cross-section throughout the white matter compared with full-term controls. Longitudinally, VP children had slower macrostructural development of commissural and motor pathways between ages 7 and 13 years. Younger gestational age, smaller birth weight and neonatal brain abnormalities were associated with lower fibre density and cross-section at both ages. Thus, VP birth and concomitant perinatal risk factors are associated with long-term delays and/or disruptions to white matter development.

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