Neural network imaging to characterize brain injury in cardiac procedures: the emerging utility of connectomics

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Abstract

Cognitive dysfunction is a poorly understood but potentially devastating complication of cardiac surgery. Clinically meaningful assessment of cognitive changes after surgery is problematic because of the absence of a means to obtain reproducible, objective, and quantitative measures of the neural disturbances that cause altered brain function. By using both structural and functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging data to construct a map of the inter-regional connections within the brain, connectomics has the potential to increase the specificity and sensitivity of perioperative neurological assessment, permitting rational individualized assessment and improvement of surgical techniques.

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