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Abstract #2242

Association between multi-modal term MRI biomarkers and early cerebral palsy risk in very preterm infants

Julia E. Kline1, Weihong Yuan1, Karen Harpster1, and Nehal A. Parikh1
1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, United States

Very preterm (VPT) infants are at risk for serious motor impairments, including cerebral palsy (CP). Motor interventions are most effective if delivered early, but early accurate biomarkers of CP are lacking. In a cohort of 345 VPT infants, we extracted cortical morphometrics and brain volumes from term structural MRI and applied graph theoretical methods to term diffusion MRI connectomes. We observed consistent negative associations between early CP risk and cortical surface area, subcortical volumes, and graph metrics, including global efficiency and local efficiency of motor regions. These early biomarkers enhance our understanding of VPT motor impairments and may predict CP.

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