IMPACT OF PRETERM BIRTH ON HIPPOCAMPAL STRUCTURE UTILIZING VOLUMETRIC MRI TECHNIQUES
Thompson D, Wood S, Inder T, Warfield S, Doyle L, Egan G, Lodygensky G, Anderson P
Howard Florey Institute, University of Melbourne
Preterm infants are at risk for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. The hippocampus appears vulnerable in this population and may contribute to cognitive, learning and memory deficits. Preterm and term infants underwent volumetric MRI evaluation of the hippocampus by manual segmentation on combined coronal t2w and pdw images obtained at term equivalent. At two years of age, cognitive and motor development was assessed with Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-II). Preterm infants had striking bilateral reductions in hippocampal volume associated with white matter injury. Adverse cognitive functioning at two years of age was related to reductions in hippocampal volume. Interventions are required to improve hippocampal development and long-term cognitive performance.