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High-field diffusion tensor imaging characterization of cerebral white matter injury in LPS-exposed fetal sheep.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author van de Looij Yohan, Lodygensky Gregory A, Dean Justin, Lazeyras François, Hagberg Henrik, Kjellmer Ingemar, Mallard Carina, Hüppi Petra S, Sizonenko Stéphane V,
Project From cortex to classroom: enhancing brain development for premature infants
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Pediatric research
Volume (Issue) 72
Page(s) 285 - 292
Title of proceedings Pediatric research
DOI 10.1038/pr.2012.72


Background:In gyrencephalic species such as sheep, precise anatomical and microstructural characterization of the consequences of fetal inflammation remains scarce. The goal of this study was to characterize changes in white matter structure using advanced MRI following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure in the preterm equivalent fetal sheep.Methods:Preterm (0.7 gestation) fetal sheep received vehicle (Sham group) or LPS (LPS group), and fetal brains were collected 10 days later for subsequent ex-vivo MRI. T(1)-Weighted (T(1)W), T(2)-Weighted (T(2)W), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data were collected.Results:Fetuses exposed to LPS exhibited reductions in white matter volume and corpus callosum thickness at 10 days recovery. Characteristic patterns of diffuse and focal white matter lesions (necrosis or cysts) could be identified by various T(1), T(2) and DTI signal changes.Conclusion:Fetal LPS exposure induces a pattern of injury characterized by diffuse and focal white matter injury, which closely reproduces that observed clinically in preterm infants. This work provides anatomical and microstructural MRI assessment, as well as histopathological correlates, of the consequences of LPS exposure in an animal model with a white matter structure similar to the human brain. This work will help to further our understanding of MRI changes in preterm infants.