Changes in brain water diffusion during the 1st year of life

Kirsten P.N. Forbes, James G. Pipe, C. Roger Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the normal water diffusion changes that occur during the 1st year of life. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diffusion-weighted imaging was performed in 40 subjects (age range, birth to 1 year) in whom both magnetic resonance imaging and neurologic assessment results were normal at the time of imaging and, where available, at follow-up. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was calculated in four areas of white matter (anterior and posterior subcortical and internal capsule) and four of gray matter (cortex, thalamus, head of the caudate nucleus, and lentiform nucleus). Linear regression was used to examine the effect of age on ADC, and analysis of variance was used to compare ADC within different brain regions. RESULTS: ADC decreased with age in all regions (P < .01). Data best fit with a logarithmic decline (r2 = 0.20-0.63). ADC was significantly higher in white (113 x 10-5 mm2/sec) than in gray matter (102 x 10-5 mm2/sec; P < .001). Significant differences were seen among three white matter regions (subcortical, 188 x 10-5 mm2/sec at birth; anterior limb of internal capsule, 130 x 10-5 mm2/sec; posterior limb of internal capsule, 109 x 10-5 mm2/sec) and three gray matter regions (cortex, 134 x 10-5 mm2/sec at birth; head of caudate nucleus, 134 x 10-5 mm2/sec at birth; and thalamus and lentiform nucleus, 120 x 10-5 mm2/sec; P < .01). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that in neonates and infants, water diffusion is highly dependent on both subject age and brain location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Brain, MR
  • Brain, diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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