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

Zach Eaton-Rosen, Andrew Melbourne, Eliza Orasanu, Marc Modat, Manuel Jorge Cardoso, Alan Bainbridge, Giles S Kendall, Nicola J Robertson, Neil Marlow, Sébastien Ourselin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.


  • 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


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