Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 351–355 | Cite as

Maturation of the limbic system revealed by MR FLAIR imaging

  • Jacques Frédéric Schneider
  • Klara Vergesslich
Original Article



Cortical signal intensity (SI) of the limbic system in adults is known to be higher than in neocortical structures, but time-related changes in SI during childhood have not been described.


To detect maturation-related SI changes within the limbic system using a fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MR sequence.

Materials and methods

Twenty children (10 boys, 10 girls; age 3.5–18 years, mean 11.2 years) with no neurological abnormality and normal MR imaging examination were retrospectively selected. On two coronal FLAIR slices, ten regions of interest (ROI) with a constant area of 10 mm2 were manually placed in the archeocortex (hippocampus), periarcheocortex (parahippocampal gyrus, subcallosal area, cingulate gyrus) and in the neocortex at the level of the superior frontal gyrus on both sides.


Significant SI gradients were observed with a higher intensity in the archeocortex, intermediate intensity in the periarcheocortex and low intensity in the neocortex. Significant higher SI values in hippocampal and parahippocampal structures were detected in children up to 10 years of age.


These differences mainly reflected differences in cortical structure and myelination state. Archeocortical structures especially showed significant age-related intensity progression suggesting ongoing organization and/or myelination until early adolescence.


Children Brain Maturation MRI 


  1. 1.
    Bendersky M, Rugilo C, Kochen S et al (2003) Magnetic resonance imaging identifies cytoarchitectonic subtypes of the normal human cerebral cortex. J Neurol Sci 1–2:75–80Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hajnal JV, Bryant DJ, Kasuboski L et al (1992) Use of fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) pulse sequences in MRI of the brain. J Comput Assist Tomogr 6:841–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hirai T, Korogi Y, Yoshizumi K et al (2000) Limbic lobe of the human brain: evaluation with turbo fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery MR imaging. Radiology 2:470–475Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Murakami JW, Weinberger E, Shaw DW et al (1999) Normal myelination of the pediatric brain imaged with fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) MR imaging. AJNR 8:1406–1411Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bronen RA (1992) Hippocampal and limbic terminology. AJNR 3:943–945Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kier EL, Fulbright RK, Bronen RA et al (1995) Limbic lobe embryology and anatomy: dissection and MR of the medial surface of the fetal cerebral hemisphere. AJNR 9:1847–1853Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parazzini C, Baldoli C, Scotti G et al (2002) Terminal zones of myelination: MR evaluation of children aged 20–40 months. AJNR 10:1669–1673Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Naidich TP, Daniels DL, Haughton VM et al (1987) Hippocampal formation and related structures of the limbic lobe: anatomic–MR correlation. Part II. Sagittal sections. Radiology 3:755–761Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Naidich TP, Daniels DL, Haughton VM et al (1987) Hippocampal formation and related structures of the limbic lobe: anatomic–MR correlation. Part I. Surface features and coronal sections. Radiology 3:747–754Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jackson GD, Kuzniecky RI, Cascino GD et al (1994) Hippocampal sclerosis without detectable hippocampal atrophy. Neurology 1:42–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schneider JF, Il’yasov KA, Hennig J et al (2004) Fast quantitative diffusion-tensor imaging of cerebral white matter from the neonatal period to adolescence. Neuroradiology 4:258–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Frédéric Schneider
    • 1
  • Klara Vergesslich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric RadiologyUniversity Children’s Hospital UKBBBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations