Gray matter volumetric MRI differences late-preterm and term infants

Shun Munakata, Tomoo Okada, Aya Okahashi, Kayo Yoshikawa, Yukihiro Usukura, Masami Makimoto, Shigeharu Hosono, Shigeru Takahashi, Hideo Mugishima, Yoshitaka Okuhata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Gray matter develops rapidly during the third trimester of pregnancy, which is a critical period for lipid deposition. We measured brain volume in term and late-preterm infants to determine if it is related to disabilities in late-preterm infants. In addition, we measured serum lipid concentrations to investigate the relationship between brain volume and lipid nutrition. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained in 16 late-preterm and 13 term infants. We measured cerebrum, gray matter, and white matter volumes. We performed serum cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), and lipoprotein analyses in cord blood by high-performance liquid chromatography using gel permeation columns to assess lipid nutritional levels. The gray matter volume and percent cerebrum volume of gray matter were significantly smaller in late-preterm infants (p<0.001). Head circumference and cerebrum and white matter volume did not differ between the two groups. Gray matter volume correlated positively with gestational age (r=0.647, p<0.001), head circumference (r=0.688, p<0.001), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-TG levels (r=0.496, p=0.006). Late-preterm infants had a normal head circumference and a lower gray matter volume than term infants. Gestational age and head circumference were significantly associated with gray matter volume. Only HDL-TG levels were significantly associated with gray matter volume. HDL-TG might contribute to the transport of fatty acids and gray matter development during the postnatal period. Thus, delayed gray matter development may partly contribute to neurodevelopmental disabilities in late-preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Brain volume
  • Gray matter
  • High density lipoprotein
  • Late-preterm infant
  • Triglyceride
  • Volumetric MRI


Dive into the research topics of 'Gray matter volumetric MRI differences late-preterm and term infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this