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Recent advances in diffusion neuroimaging: applications in the developing preterm brain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


King's Authors


Measures obtained from diffusion-weighted imaging provide objective indices of white matter development and injury in the developing preterm brain. To date, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been used widely, highlighting differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) between preterm infants at term and healthy term controls; altered white matter development associated with a number of perinatal risk factors; and correlations between FA values in the white matter in the neonatal period and subsequent neurodevelopmental outcome. Recent developments, including neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) and fixel-based analysis (FBA), enable white matter microstructure to be assessed in detail. Constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD) enables multiple fibre populations in an imaging voxel to be resolved and allows delineation of fibres that traverse regions of fibre-crossings, such as the arcuate fasciculus and cerebellar-cortical pathways. This review summarises DTI findings in the preterm brain and discusses initial findings in this population using CSD, NODDI, and FBA.

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