Developing a framework for studying brain networks in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

Finn Lennartsson, Angela Darekar, Koushik Maharatna, Daniel Konn, David Allen, J. Donald Tournier, John Broulidakis, Brigitte Vollmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) are at high risk of brain injury, with subsequent developmental problems including severe neuromotor, cognitive and behavioral impairment. Neural correlates of cognitive and behavioral impairment in neonatal HIE, in particular in infants who survive without severe neuromotor impairment, are poorly understood. It is reasonable to hypothesize that in HIE both structural and functional brain networks are altered, and that this might be the neural correlate of impaired cognitive and/or behavioral impairment in HIE. Here, an analysis pipeline to study the structural and functional brain networks from neonatal MRI in newborns with HIE is presented. The structural connectivity is generated from dense whole-brain tractograms derived from diffusion-weighted MR fibre tractography. This investigation of functional connectivity focuses on the emerging resting state networks (RSNs), which are sensitive to injuries from hypoxic-ischemic insults to the newborn brain. In conjunction with the structural connectivity, alterations to the structuro-functional connectivity of the RSNs can be studied. Preliminary results from a proof-of-concept study in a small cohort of newborns with HIE are promising. The obstacles encountered and improvements to the pipeline are discussed. The framework can be further extended for joint analysis with EEG functional-connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Image Understanding and Analysis - 22nd Conference, Proceedings
EditorsMark Nixon, Sasan Mahmoodi, Reyer Zwiggelaar
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319959207
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Event22nd Conference on Medical Image Understanding and Analysis, MIUA 2018 - Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 2018 Jul 92018 Jul 11

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


Conference22nd Conference on Medical Image Understanding and Analysis, MIUA 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology
  • Pediatrics

Free keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Diffusion MRI
  • Human brain
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Networks
  • Resting-state functional MRI


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