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ObjectivesTo measure both fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the corticospinal tracts (CSTs) and volume of the thalami in preterm infants with cystic periventricular leukomalacia (c-PVL) and to compare these measurements with control infants.Study designPreterm infants with c-PVL and controls with magnetic resonance imaging data acquired between birth and term equivalent age (TEA) were retrospectively identified in 2 centers. Tractography of the CST and segmentation of the thalamus were performed, and values from infants with c-PVL and controls were compared.ResultsThirty-three subjects with c-PVL and 31 preterm controls were identified. All had at least 1 scan up to TEA, and multiple scans were performed in 31 infants. A significant difference in FA values of the CST was found between cases and controls on the scans both before and at TEA. Absolute thalamic volumes were significantly reduced at TEA but not on the earlier scans. Data acquired in infancy showed lower FA values in infants with c-PVL.ConclusionsDamage to the CST can be identified on the early scan and persists, whereas the changes in thalamic volume develop in the weeks between the early and term equivalent magnetic resonance imaging. This may reflect the difference between acute and remote effects of the extensive injury to the white matter caused by c-PVL.
Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics - Volume 167, Issue 2, August 2015, Pages 260-268.e3