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Proceedings Paper

Structural development of human brain white matter from mid-fetal to perinatal stage
Author(s): Austin Ouyang; Qiaowen Yu; Virendra Mishra; Lina Chalak; Tina Jeon; Muraleedharan Sivarajan; Greg Jackson; Nancy Rollins; Shuwei Liu; Hao Huang
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Paper Abstract

The structures of developing human brain white matter (WM) tracts can be effectively quantified by DTI-derived metrics, including fractional anisotropy (FA), mean, axial and radial diffusivity (MD, AD and RD). However, dynamics of WM microstructure during very early developmental period from mid-fetal to perinatal stage is unknown. It is difficult to accurately measure microstructural properties of these WM tracts due to severe contamination from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In this study, high resolution DTI of fetal brains at mid-fetal stage (20 weeks of gestation or 20wg), 19 brains in the middle of 3rd trimester (35wg) and 17 brains around term (40wg) were acquired. We established first population-averaged DTI templates at these three time points and extracted WM skeleton. 16 major WM tracts in limbic, projection, commissural and association tract groups were traced with DTI tractography in native space. The WM skeleton in the template space was inversely transformed back to the native space for measuring core WM microstructures of each individual tract. Continuous microstructural enhancement and volumetric increase of WM tracts were found from 20wg to 40wg. The microstructural enhancement from FA measurement is decelerated in late 3rd trimester compared to mid-fetal to middle 3rd trimester, while volumetric increase of prefrontal WM tracts is accelerated. The microstructural enhancement from 35wg to 40wg is heterogeneous among different tract groups with microstructures of association tracts undergoing most dramatic change. Besides decreases of RD indicating active myelination, the decrease of AD for most WM tracts during late 3rd trimester suggests axonal packing process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9417, Medical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 94171P (3 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2082418
Show Author Affiliations
Austin Ouyang, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Qiaowen Yu, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Shandong Univ. (China)
Virendra Mishra, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Lina Chalak, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Tina Jeon, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Muraleedharan Sivarajan, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Greg Jackson, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Nancy Rollins, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)
Shuwei Liu, Shandong Univ. (China)
Hao Huang, The Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr. at Dallas (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9417:
Medical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
Barjor Gimi; Robert C. Molthen, Editor(s)

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