Kallankari, H., Saunavaara, V., Parkkola, R. et al. Diffusion tensor imaging in frontostriatal tracts is associated with executive functioning in very preterm children at 9 years of age. Pediatr Radiol 51, 112–118 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-020-04802-1
Diffusion tensor imaging in frontostriatal tracts is associated with executive functioning in very preterm children at 9 years of age
|Author:||Kallankari, Hanna1,2; Saunavaara, Virva3,4; Parkkola, Riitta5;|
1PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Child Neurology, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 23, FIN-90029 OYS, Oulu, Finland
3PET Center, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
4Department of Medical Physics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
5Department of Radiology, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
6Department of Child Neurology, Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
7Department of Neonatology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe202102225580
|Publish Date:|| 2021-02-22
Background: Very preterm birth can disturb brain maturation and subject these high-risk children to neurocognitive difficulties later.
Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of prematurity on microstructure of frontostriatal tracts in children with no severe neurologic impairment, and to study whether the diffusion tensor imaging metrics of frontostriatal tracts correlate to executive functioning.
Materials and methods: The prospective cohort study comprised 54 very preterm children (mean gestational age 28.8 weeks) and 20 age- and gender-matched term children. None of the children had severe neurologic impairment. The children underwent diffusion tensor imaging and neuropsychological assessments at a mean age of 9 years. We measured quantitative diffusion tensor imaging metrics of frontostriatal tracts using probabilistic tractography. We also administered five subtests from the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, Second Edition, to evaluate executive functioning.
Results: Very preterm children had significantly higher fractional anisotropy and axial diffusivity values (P<0.05, corrected for multiple comparison) in dorsolateral prefrontal caudate and ventrolateral prefrontal caudate tracts as compared to term-born children. We found negative correlations between the diffusion tensor imaging metrics of frontostriatal tracts and inhibition functions (P<0.05, corrected for multiple comparison) in very preterm children.
Conclusion: Prematurity has a long-term effect on frontostriatal white matter microstructure that might contribute to difficulties in executive functioning.
|Pages:||112 - 118|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. Hanna Kallankari and Virva Saunavaara contributed equally to this study. This study was funded by the Alma och K.A. Snellman Foundation (H.K., T.K.) and Foundation for Paediatric Research, Finland (T.K.). We thank Päivi Olsen, MD, PhD, for contributing to the study design. We also thank Noora Korkalainen, MD, who participated in recruiting the study participants and performed the structured neurologic assessment for some of the children. We are grateful to the children and the parents who participated in the study.
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