Kallankari, H., Taskila, HL., Heikkinen, M. et al. Microstructural alterations in association tracts and language abilities in schoolchildren born very preterm and with poor fetal growth. Pediatr Radiol 53, 94–103 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-022-05418-3
Microstructural alterations in association tracts and language abilities in schoolchildren born very preterm and with poor fetal growth
|Author:||Kallankari, Hanna1,2; Taskila, Hanna-Leena1,3; Heikkinen, Minna1,4;|
1PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Child Neurology, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Neonatology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Child Language Research Center, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5PET Center, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
6Department of Medical Physics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2023032232843
|Publish Date:|| 2023-03-22
Background: Prematurity and perinatal risk factors may influence white matter microstructure. In turn, these maturational changes may influence language development in this high-risk population of children.
Objective: To evaluate differences in the microstructure of association tracts between preterm and term children and between preterm children with appropriate growth and those with fetal growth restriction and to study whether the diffusion tensor metrics of these tracts correlate with language abilities in schoolchildren with no severe neurological impairment.
Materials and methods: This study prospectively followed 56 very preterm children (mean gestational age: 28.7 weeks) and 21 age- and gender-matched term children who underwent diffusion tensor imaging at a mean age of 9 years. We used automated probabilistic tractography and measured fractional anisotropy in seven bilateral association tracts known to belong to the white matter language network. Both groups participated in language assessment using five standardised tests at the same age.
Results: Preterm children had lower fractional anisotropy in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus 1 compared to term children (P < 0.05). Preterm children with fetal growth restriction had lower fractional anisotropy in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus compared to preterm children with appropriate fetal growth (P < 0.05). Fractional anisotropy in three dorsal tracts and in two dorsal and one ventral tract had a positive correlation with language assessments among preterm children and preterm children with fetal growth restriction, respectively (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: There were some microstructural differences in language-related tracts between preterm and term children and between preterm children with appropriate and those with restricted fetal growth. Children with better language abilities had a higher fractional anisotropy in distinct white matter tracts.
|Pages:||94 - 103|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
616 Other humanities
Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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