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Title: Diffusion tensor imaging and resting state functional connectivity as advanced imaging biomarkers of outcome in infants with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia
Author: Tusor, Nora
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 4102
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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Therapeutic hypothermia confers significant benefit in term neonates with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE). However, despite the treatment nearly half of the infants develop an unfavourable outcome. Intensive bench-based and early phase clinical research is focused on identifying treatments that augment hypothermic neuroprotection. Qualified biomarkers are required to test these promising therapies efficiently. This thesis aims to assess advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state functional MRI (fMRI) as imaging biomarkers of outcome in infants with HIE who underwent hypothermic neuroprotection. FA values in the white matter (WM), obtained in the neonatal period and assessed by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), correlated with subsequent developmental quotient (DQ). However, TBSS is not suitable to study grey matter (GM), which is the primary site of injury following an acute hypoxic-ischaemic event. Therefore, a neonatal atlas-based automated tissue labelling approach was applied to segment central and cortical grey and whole brain WM. Mean diffusivity (MD) in GM structures, obtained in the neonatal period correlated with subsequent DQ. Although the central GM is the primary site of injury on conventional MRI following HIE; FA within WM tissue labels also correlated to neurodevelopmental performance scores. As DTI does not provide information on functional consequences of brain injury functional sequel of HIE was studied with resting state fMRI. Diminished functional connectivity was demonstrated in infants who suffered HIE, which associated with an unfavourable outcome. The results of this thesis suggest that MD in GM tissue labels and FA either determined within WM tissue labels or analysed with TBSS correlate to subsequent neurodevelopmental performance scores in infants who suffered HIE treated with hypothermia and may be applied as imaging biomarkers of outcome in this population. Although functional connectivity was diminished in infants with HIE, resting state fMRI needs further study to assess its utility as an imaging biomarker following a hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury.
Supervisor: Edwards, A. David; Counsell, Serena; Azzopardi, Denis Sponsor: Mother and Child Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available