Arabhi C. Nagasunder1, 2, Rafael Ceschin3, Robin L. Haynes4, Jessica Wisnowski1, 5, Jane Tavare6, Marvin D. Nelson1, Stefan Bluml1, 2, Lisa Paquette7, Ashok Panigrahy1,3
1Radiology, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 2Rudi Schulte Research Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, USA; 3Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 4Pathology, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA; 5Brain & Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 6Division of Pathology, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 7Division of Neonatology, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Preterm infants are highly vulnerable to a spectrum of cognitive visual disturbances. Here we demonstrate that high risk preterm infants with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) show significant correlation between thalamic volume and microstructural abnormalities in central visual pathways (optic radiation, splenium). In contrast, preterms infants without PVL demonstrate a milder version of the same injury pattern suggesting that damage to central visual pathways is not always associated with PVL. Thalamic injury may play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of cognitive visual impairment in survivors of prematurity.