Magnetic resonance imaging of normal and pathological white matter maturation

Pediatr Radiol. 1988;18(3):183-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02390391.


Fifty children between 3 months postnatal and 16 years of age were examined by means of a 1.5 T superconductive magnet, run at 0.35 and 1.0 T. The myelination was studied qualitatively and quantitatively (relaxation times, proton densities, image contrast). With increasing age, a decrease of T1 and proton density of white matter was found, which was complete at one year of age. In regions with a slow progression of myelination, gray/white matter contrast showed an increase up to the end of the first decade. Pathological white matter maturation was diagnosed either as an abnormal transformation of myelin (characterized by abnormal relaxation values), or as a deficient or delayed myelin formation (in comparison with age-matched controls).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiopathology