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White and grey matter development in utero assessed using motion-corrected diffusion tensor imaging and its comparison to ex utero measures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Georgia Lockwood Estrin, Zhi Qing Wu, Maria Deprez, Álvaro Bertelsen, Mary A. Rutherford, Serena J. Counsell, Joseph V. Hajnal

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-485
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date12 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

King's Authors


OBJECTIVE Fetal brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) offers quantitative analysis of the developing brain. The objective was to 1) quantify DTI measures across gestation in a cohort of fetuses without brain abnormalities using full retrospective correction for fetal head motion 2) compare results obtained in utero to those in preterm infants. MATERIALS AND METHODS Motion-corrected DTI analysis was performed on data sets obtained at 1.5T from 32 fetuses scanned between 21.29 and 37.57 (median 31.86) weeks. Results were compared to 32 preterm infants scanned at 3T between 27.43 and 37.14 (median 33.07) weeks. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were quantified by region of interest measurements and tractography was performed. RESULTS Fetal DTI was successful in 84% of fetuses for whom there was sufficient data for DTI estimation, and at least one tract could be obtained in 25 cases. Fetal FA values increased and ADC values decreased with age at scan (PLIC FA: p = 0.001; R2 = 0.469; slope = 0.011; splenium FA: p 

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