Evaluation of changes in myelination in the brain during infancy and childhood using ADC maps



Myelination, Diffusion weighted imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Apparent diffusion coefficient


Aim: Myelinization has a critical role in achieving rapid synchronization between the neural system and high-grade cognitive functions. Because of this critical role, it is important to quantitatively determine the degree of myelination. Today, structural changes due to myelination can be evaluated quantitatively by diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements. The aim of this study was to evaluate myelination-related changes in different regions of the brain during infancy and childhood in the normal population by measuring ADC values in routine MRI examinations.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 109 patients aged 0-17 years who underwent brain MRI examination with 3.0T device and whose myelination and maturation were interpreted as normal in conventional sequences were evaluated. In all examinations, ADC maps from 30 different locations were evaluated and measured in the workstation based on T2-weighted images.

Results: There is a functional relationship between ADC values and the myelination process during infancy and childhood in the normal population. ADC values decrease in all localizations with increasing age, especially during the first 2 years. During the postnatal period, ADC values, which are higher in the white matter, decrease as maturation of white matter is completed and increase in the cortical gray matter. No significant difference was found between bilateral structures except the thalamus, caudate nucleus or centrum semiovale regions. There was no gender-dependent significant difference in the patients aged between zero and 2 years. 

Conclusion: ADC values for each localization can be easily obtained by diffusion weighted imaging and ADC maps, which are frequently used in routine MRI examinations. The relationship between ADC values and myelination process can be revealed in the whole brain and normative values can be obtained for multiple regions in the brain.


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Research Article

How to Cite

Özkan M, Taşkent İsmail, Teke M. Evaluation of changes in myelination in the brain during infancy and childhood using ADC maps. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2019 Nov. 1 [cited 2022 Oct. 3];3(11):785-9. Available from: https://jsurgmed.com/article/view/633584