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Abstract #2396

White and grey matter microstructural alterations and increased free-water content 13 years after very preterm birth

Claire Kelly1,2, Thijs Dhollander2, Ian Harding3,4, Wasim Khan3, Richard Beare2, Jeanie Cheong1,5,6, Lex Doyle1,5,6,7, Marc Seal2,7, Deanne Thompson1,2,7, and Peter Anderson1,8
1Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS), Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 2Developmental Imaging, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 3Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 4Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 5Newborn Research, The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 6Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 7Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 8Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health and School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

We investigated the microstructural composition of the brain tissue in 130 adolescents born very preterm (VP) compared with 45 full-term (FT)-born controls. This involved a novel voxel-based analysis of white matter-like, grey matter-like, and fluid-like (free-water) diffusion tissue signal fractions derived by Single-Shell 3-Tissue Constrained Spherical Deconvolution. VP adolescents showed widespread, diverse microstructural alterations and increased free-water content across the brain parenchyma compared with FT controls, which were associated with perinatal risk factors and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study expands knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms by which VP birth adversely affects brain development in the long-term.

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