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Abstract #4600

Altered corticospinal tract microstructure is associated with motor performance in adolescents with congenital heart disease

Melanie Ehrler1, Michael von Rhein1,2, Oliver Kretschmar3, Beatrice Latal1, and Ruth O'Gorman Tuura4
1Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, 2Developmental Pediatrics, Cantonal Hospital Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland, 3Cardiology, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, 4Center for MR Research, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland

Children with congenital heart diseases (CHD) undergoing open-heart surgery are at an increased risk of motor impairment, but little is known about the neuroanatomical correlates of these deficits. The purpose of the present study was to examine the link between corticospinal tract (CST) microstructure, assessed with diffusion tensor MRI, and motor function in a cohort of adolescents with operated CHD. Compared to age-matched controls, adolescents with CHD showed lower CST anisotropy which correlated with worse fine motor function and poorer movement quality. CHD may therefore lead to alterations in motor tract development, increasing the risk of persistent motor impairments.

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