Region of interest based morphometric diffusion tensor imaging analysis, has been used extensively for the assessment of age-related changes in human brain, is limited to two dimensions and does not reflect the whole fiber bundle; however, diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) offers an overall view of individual fiber bundle in three-dimensional spaces. Quantitative DTT was performed on 51 healthy subjects of pediatric age range and young adults to compare age-related fractional anisotropy (FA) changes in corpus callosum, sensory and motor pathways, limbic tracts [cingulum (CNG) and fornix (Fx)], and superior and inferior longitudinal fascicules. In corpus callosum, inferior longitudinal fascicules, limbic tracts (CNG and Fx), sensory pathways, and motor pathways, an initial sharp increase in FA was observed up to the age of 2 y followed by a gradual increase up to 21 y. In superior longitudinal fascicules, sharp increase in FA was observed up to 3 y followed by a gradual increase. The FA value of the left CNG (p = 0.01, sign test) was observed to be significantly greater than that of the right CNG. We conclude that white matter fiber tracts mature with age and can be assessed by using DTT that may greatly improve our understanding of the human brain development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health