Gareth Ball1, James P. Boardman, 12, Paul Aljabar3, Anand Pandit1, Tomoki Arichi1, 4, Nazakat Merchant1, 4, Daniel Rueckert3, A David Edwards1, 4, Serena J. Counsell1
1Centre for the Developing Brain, Imaging Sciences Department, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; 2Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 3Biomedical Image Analysis Group, Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; 4Division of Neonatology, Imperial College London Healthcare NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
Preterm birth is associated with a wide range of neurodevelopmental deficits and disruption of the thalamo-cortical system is thought to represent a key component of preterm brain injury. We describe a novel pipeline for comprehensively mapping thalamo-cortical connectivity in preterm neonates using probabilistic tractography. Using this technique we demonstrate that thalamo-cortical connectivity is significantly reduced in preterm infants at term-equivalent age compared to term-born controls.