Quantification of deep gray matter in preterm infants at term-equivalent age using manual volumetry of 3-tesla magnetic resonance images

Latha Srinivasan, Robin Dutta, Serena J. Counsell, Joanna M. Allsop, James P. Boardman, Mary A. Rutherford, A. David Edwards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Nonhypothesis-based MRI-analysis techniques including deformation-based morphometry and automated tissue segmentation have suggested that preterm infants at term-equivalent age have reduced tissue volume in the basal ganglia and thalami, which is most apparent among infants with supratentorial lesions. The aim of our study was to test this hypothesis by direct measurement of thalamic and lentiform nuclei volumes in preterm infants at term-equivalent age and term-born controls using manual volumetry.

DESIGN/METHODS. Forty preterm infants at term-equivalent age (median gestational age: 29.5 weeks; median birth weight: 1.3 kg) and 8 term-born controls were examined using a 3-T Philips (Best, Netherlands) system. T1-weighted volume images and T2-weighted fast-spin echo pseudovolumes were acquired. There was no significant difference in postmenstrual age at image acquisition between the 2 groups. ImageJ 1.34 (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD) was used for manual segmentations.

RESULTS. The median thalamic and lentiform nuclei volumes for preterm infants at term-equivalent age were 13.6 and 3.07 cm(3), respectively, significantly smaller than term-control volumes of 16.3 and 5.6 cm(3), respectively. Ten preterm infants at term-equivalent age had supratentorial lesions (intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, or hemorrhagic parenchymal infarction), and the median thalamic and lentiform volumes for this group were 10.4 and 1.7 cm(3), respectively. When this group was excluded, the remaining infants who had mild or moderate diffuse excessive high signal intensity in the white matter on T2-weighted images had a smaller, yet significant, volume reduction compared with controls. Tissue volumes were not related to weight and gestational age at birth.

CONCLUSIONS. Manual volumetry confirms that preterm infants at term-equivalent age have reduced thalamic and lentiform volumes compared with controls. This was most marked among infants with supratentorial lesions but was also seen among those with nonfocal white matter abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-765
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume119
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
EventAnnual Meeting of the Pediatric-Academic-Societies - San Francisco, Canada
Duration: 29 Apr 20062 May 2006

Keywords

  • basal ganglia and thalamus
  • preterm infants
  • magnetic resonance volumetry
  • BASAL GANGLIA
  • RETROGRADE DEGENERATION
  • THALAMIC NEURONS
  • BRAIN
  • LESIONS
  • BIRTH
  • HYPERECHOGENICITY
  • PREMATURE
  • OUTCOMES
  • CORTEX

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