MR imaging correlates of white-matter pathology in a preterm baboon model

Jennifer L. Griffith, Joshua S. Shimony, Stephanie A. Cousins, Sandra E. Rees, Donald C. McCurnin, Terrie E. Inder, Jeffrey J. Neil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cerebral white-matter (WM) abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlate with neurodevelopmental disability in infants born prematurely. Results: Quantitative histological measures of WM and ventricular volumes correlated with qualitative MRI scores of WM volume loss and ventriculomegaly. Diffuse astrocytosis was associated with signal abnormality on T 2-weighted imaging and higher apparent diffusion coefficient in WM. Loss of oligodendrocytes was associated with lower relative anisotropy characterized by higher radial diffusivity values. The relationship between histopathology and MRI abnormalities was more pronounced in animals in the 28d model, equivalent to the term human infant.Discussion:MRI reflects microstructural and anatomical abnormalities that are characteristic of WM injury in the preterm brain, and these changes are more evident on MRI at term-equivalent postmenstrual age. Methods: We assessed the histopathological correlates of MRI abnormalities in a baboon model of premature birth. Baboons were delivered at 125d of gestation (dg, term ∼185dg) and maintained in an animal intensive care unit for 14 (n = 26) or 28d (n = 17). Gestational control animals were delivered at 140dg (n = 9) or 153dg (n = 4). Cerebral WM in fixed brains was evaluated using MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and histopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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