We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

A Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Changes in Brain Morphology From Infancy to Late Adulthood

Adolf Pfefferbaum, MD; Daniel H. Mathalon, PhD; Edith V. Sullivan, PhD; Jody M. Rawles; Robert B. Zipursky, MD; Kelvin O. Lim, MD
Arch Neurol. 1994;51(9):874-887. doi:10.1001/archneur.1994.00540210046012.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Objective:  To model in vivo the dynamic interrelations of head size, gray matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes from infancy to old age using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Design:  Cross-sectional, between-subjects using an age-regression model.

Setting:  A Veterans Affairs medical center and community hospitals.

Participants:  There were 88 male and female subjects aged 3 months to 30 years whose clinical MRI film had been read as normal and 73 healthy male volunteers aged 21 to 70 years who had an MRI performed specifically for this study.

Main Outcome Measures:  These MRI data were quantified using a semiautomated computer technique for segmenting images into gray matter, white matter, and CSF compartments. The cortex was defined geometrically as the outer 45% on each analyzed slice, and the volumes of cortical white matter, gray matter, and CSF were computed. Subcortical (ventricular) CSF volume was computed for the inner 55% of each analyzed slice.

Results:  In the younger sample, intracranial volume increased by about 300 mL from 3 months to 10 years. The same patterns of change in volume of each compartment across the age range were seen in both sexes: cortical gray matter volume peaked around age 4 years and decreased thereafter; cortical white matter volume increased steadily until about age 20 years; cortical and ventricular CSF volumes remained constant. In the older sample, brain volumes were statistically adjusted for normal variation in head size through a regression procedure and revealed the following pattern: cortical gray matter volume decreased curvilinearly, showing an average volume loss of 0.7 mL/y, while cortical white matter volume remained constant during the five decades; complementary to the cortical gray matter decrease, cortical CSF volume increased by 0.6 mL/y and ventricular volumes increased by 0.3 mL/y.

Conclusions:  These patterns of growth and change seen in vivo with MRI are largely consistent with neuropathological studies, as well as animal models of development, and may reflect neuronal progressive and regressive processes, including cell growth, myelination, cell death, and atrophy.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.