Gareth Ball1, Serena J. Counsell1, Ioannis S. Gousias1, Paul Aljabar2, Jo V. Hajnal1, Daniel Rueckert2, A. David Edwards1,3, James P. Boardman1,4
1Imperial College London & MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London, United Kingdom; 2Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; 3Division of Neonatology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom; 4Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Tractography-based segmentation is a method for mapping structural connectivity in the brain but it is not yet feasible to perform this technique in neonates without a subjective and time-consuming process of manually labelling the cortex. Preterm birth is a leading cause of cognitive impairment in childhood, and is associated with aberrant thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical connectivity. Using a combination of atlas-based parcellation, tissue segmentation and multi-modal imaging, we have implemented a fully-automated pipeline for tractography-based segmentation in preterm neonates. This technique provides a tool to further study the impaired connectivity thought to underlie the common neurocognitive impairment in the preterm population.