Myelination process in preterm subjects with periventricular leucomalacia assessed by magnetization transfer ratio
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Magnetization transfer imaging assesses the myelination status of the brain.
To study the progress of myelination in children with periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) by measuring the magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and to compare the MTR values with normal values.
Materials and methods
Brain MTR in 28 PVL subjects (16 males, 12 females, gestational age 30.7±2.5 weeks, corrected age 3.1±2.9 years) was measured using a 3D gradient echo sequence (TR/TE 32/8 ms, flip angle 60°, 4 mm/2 mm overlapping sections) without and with magnetization transfer prepulse and compared with normal values for preterm subjects.
MTR of white-matter structures followed a monoexponential function model (y=A−B*exp(−x/C)) while the thalamus and caudate nucleus had a poor goodness of fit. MTR of the splenium of the corpus callosum reached a final value lower than normal (0.67 versus 0.70) at a younger age [t(99%) at 10.32 versus 18.90 months; P<0.05]. MTR of the normal-appearing occipital white matter and of the genu of the corpus callosum reached a normal final MTR but at a younger age than normal preterm infants [t(99%) at 8.51 versus 14.50 months and 12.51 versus 20.85 months, respectively].
In PVL subjects, myelination of the splenium is characterized by early arrest and deficient maturation. Accelerated myelination in unaffected white matter might suggest a compensatory process of reorganization.
KeywordsBrain Myelination Periventricular leucomalacia Magnetization transfer imaging Preterm
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