Tractography of the cerebellar peduncles in second- And third-trimester fetuses

F. Machado-Rivas, O. Afacan, S. Khan, B. Marami, C. K. Rollins, C. Ortinau, C. Velasco-Annis, S. K. Warfield, A. Gholipour, C. Jaimes

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Little is known about microstructural development of cerebellar white matter in vivo. This study aimed to investigate developmental changes of the cerebellar peduncles in second- and third-trimester healthy fetuses using motion-corrected DTI and tractography. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 3T data of 81 healthy fetuses were reviewed. Structural imaging consisted of multiplanar T2-singleshot sequences; DTI consisted of a series of 12-direction diffusion. A robust motion-tracked section-to-volume registration algorithm reconstructed images. ROI-based deterministic tractography was performed using anatomic landmarks described in postnatal tractography. Asymmetry was evaluated qualitatively with a perceived difference of .25% between sides. Linear regression evaluated gestational age as a predictor of tract volume, ADC, and fractional anisotropy. RESULTS: Twenty-four cases were excluded due to low-quality reconstructions. Fifty-eight fetuses with a median gestational age of 30.6 weeks (interquartile range, 7 weeks) were analyzed. The superior cerebellar peduncle was identified in 39 subjects (69%), and it was symmetric in 15 (38%). The middle cerebellar peduncle was identified in all subjects and appeared symmetric; in 13 subjects (22%), two distinct subcomponents were identified. The inferior cerebellar peduncle was not found in any subject. There was a significant increase in volume for the superior cerebellar peduncle and middle cerebellar peduncle (both, P<.05), an increase in fractional anisotropy (both, P<.001), and a decrease in ADC (both, P<.001) with gestational age. The middle cerebellar peduncle had higher volume (P<.001) and fractional anisotropy (P=.002) and lower ADC (P<.001) than the superior cerebellar peduncle after controlling for gestational age. CONCLUSIONS: A robust motion-tracked section-to-volume registration algorithm enabled deterministic tractography of the superior cerebellar peduncle and middle cerebellar peduncle in vivo and allowed characterization of developmental changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

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