Longitudinal measurement of the developing thalamus in the preterm brain using multi-modal MRI

Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2014;17(Pt 2):276-83. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-10470-6_35.


Preterm birth is a significant public health concern. For infants born very preterm (≤ 32 weeks completed gestation), there is a high instance of developmental disability. Due to the heterogeneity of patient outcomes, it is important to investigate early markers of future ability to provide effective and targeted intervention. As a neuronal relay centre, the thalamus is critical for effective cognitive function and, thus, development of white matter connections between the thalamus and cortex is vital. By non-invasively examining the state of the thalamus we can monitor development in the preterm period. To track the development we develop a novel registration technique to combine data from multiple modalities, in order to derive the transformation from a preterm scan, to a scan of the same infant at term-equivalent age. By measuring the changes in diffusion parameters over this period on a per-voxel basis, we hope to provide unique insight into neurodevelopment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Premature
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Thalamus / pathology*