Microstructural callosal abnormalities in normal-appearing brain of children with developmental delay detected with diffusion tensor imaging

Eur Radiol. 2009 Jun;19(6):1537-43. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1296-7. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


Callosal fibres play an important role in psychomotor and cognitive functions. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible microstructural abnormalities of the corpus callosum in children with developmental delay, who have normal conventional brain MR imaging results. Seventeen pediatric patients (aged 1-9 years) with developmental delay were studied. Quantitative T2 and fractional anisotropy (FA) values were measured at the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum (CC). Fibre tracking, volumetric determination, as well as fibre density calculations of the CC were also carried out. The results were compared with those of the age-matched healthy subjects. A general elevation of T2 relaxation times (105 ms in patients vs. 95 ms in controls) and reduction of the FA values (0.66 in patients vs. 0.74 in controls) at the genu of the CC were found in patients. Reductions of the fibre numbers (5,464 in patients vs. 8,886 in controls) and volumes (3,415 ml in patients vs. 5,235 ml in controls) of the CC were found only in patients older than 5 years. The study indicates that despite their inconspicuous findings in conventional MRI microstructural brain abnormalities are evident in these pediatric patients suffering from developmental delay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corpus Callosum / pathology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity