MR evaluation of early myelination patterns in normal and developmentally delayed infants

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1988 Apr;150(4):889-96. doi: 10.2214/ajr.150.4.889.


This study demonstrates the ability of MR imaging to show progression of myelination in 64 infants and young children (ages 4 days to 36 months). T2-weighted spin-echo pulse sequences, frequently used for routine screening of intracranial disease, were used. Gray-white matter differentiation was seen in all patients, and changes occurring with age were documented. Three distinct patterns were seen, and age ranges were established for each pattern in developmentally normal children: (1) infantile (birth-6 months); (2) isointense (8-12 months); and (3) early adult (10 months onward). There was a statistically significant difference between the age ranges of the normal and developmentally delayed children showing all three patterns. These data should be helpful for identifying and following sequentially both infants with clinically suspected developmental delay and those with dysmyelinating or demyelinating disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / pathology
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Myelin Sheath / anatomy & histology
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Reference Values