Thalamo-cortical connectivity in children born preterm mapped using probabilistic magnetic resonance tractography

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Our aim was to investigate the feasibility of studying white matter tracts and connections between the thalamus and the cortex in 2-year-old infants who were born preterm by probabilistic magnetic resonance (MR) tractography. Using this approach, we were able to visualize and quantify connectivity distributions in a number of white matter tracts, including the corticospinal tracts, optic radiations, fibers of the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and to map the distribution within thalamus of fibers connecting to specific cortical regions. In eleven infants with no MR evidence of focal cerebral lesions and appropriate neurodevelopment as shown by general quotient (GQ) scores above 100, we mapped cortical connections to the thalamus that appeared similar to those reported in adults. However, in a proof-of-principle experiment, we examined one further child with marked white matter abnormalities and found that the volume and pattern of thalamo-cortical connections were severely disrupted. This technique promises to be a useful tool for assessing connectivity in the developing brain and in infants with lesions.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles