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Abstract #4605

Neuroprotective effects of erythropoietin on white matter development in preterm infants investigated with tract based spatial statistics

Ruth L O'Gorman 1 , Petra S Huppi 2 , Hans Ulrich Bucher 3 , Brigitte M Koller 3 , and Cornelia F Hagmann 3

1 University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, 2 Division of Child Growth & Development, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland, 3 Department of Neonatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Erythropoietin (Epo) is a haematopoetic cytokine which has been shown to have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects on the brain. This study investigates the effects on Epo on the development of white matter in preterm infants. Tract based spatial statistics (tbss) analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data from 58 preterm infants revealed increased FA in Epo-treated infants in the corpus callosum, internal and external capsule, corona radiata, centrum semiovale, and the corticospinal tract. Neurodevelopmental follow-up data should help to clarify the developmental significance of these findings, but early Epo administration appears to improve white matter development in preterm infants.

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