Myelination pattern on MR imaging

Myelination of the brain during infancy progresses in an orderly and predictable fashion.

At birth only certain structures are myelinated:

Subsequently different parts become myelinated, the first change is increase in T1 signal, and later decrease in T2.

  • 2-3 months: anterior limb of internal capsule becomes T1 bright
  • 3 months: cerebellar white matter tracts becomes T1 bright
  • 3-6 months: splenium of corpus callosum becomes T2 dark
  • 6 months: genu of corpus callosum becomes T1 bright
  • 8 months: subcortical white matter becomes T1 bright
  • 8 months: genu of corpus callosum becomes T2 dark
  • 11 months: anterior limb of internal capsule becomes T2 dark
  • 1 year 2 months: occipital white matter becomes T2 dark
  • 1 year 4 months: frontal white matter becomes T2 dark
  • 1 1/2 years: majority of white matter becomes T2 dark (except terminal myelination zones adjacent to frontal horns and periatrial regions)
  • 2 years:  almost all of white matter becomes T2 dark

See also

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