Preterm infants’ early growth and brain white matter maturation at term age
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Normal intrauterine conditions are essential to normal brain growth and development; premature birth and growth restriction can interrupt brain maturation. Maturation processes can be studied using diffusion tensor imaging.
The aim of this study was to use tract-based spatial statistics to assess the effect that early postnatal growth from birth to 40 gestational weeks has on brain white matter maturation.
Materials and methods
A total of 36 preterm infants were accepted in the study. Postnatal growth was assessed by weight, length and head circumference. Birth weight z-score and gestational age were used as confounding covariates.
Head circumference catch-up growth was associated with less mature diffusion parameters (P < 0.05). No significant associations were observed between weight or length growth and diffusion parameters.
Growth-restricted infants seem to have delayed brain maturation that is not fully compensated at term, despite catch-up growth.
KeywordsDiffusion tensor imaging Tract-based spatial statistics Catch-up growth Neonate
Conflicts of interest
- 27.Lepomäki V, Matomaki J, Lapinleimu H et al (2013) Effect of antenatal growth on brain white matter maturation in preterm infants at term using tract-based spatial statistics. Pediatr Radiol 43:80–85Google Scholar