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White matter injury pathophysiology

Hypoxia-ischemia and other clinical risk factors, such as infection, are key contributors to white matter injury. Mild insults selectively affect pre-oligodendrocytes (pre-OLs), which are especially vulnerable to these insults, and lead to diffuse white matter injury (as shown in purple). Severe insults result in focal necrosis with pancellular degeneration leading to cystic white matter injury (as shown in green). Abbreviations: OPC = oligodendrocyte precursor cells, pre-OLs = pre-oligodendrocytes, OL = oligodendrocyte. (Contributed by Dr. Vann Chau.)

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