The predictive validity of neonatal MRI for neurodevelopmental outcome in very preterm children

Peter J. Anderson, Jeanie L Y Cheong, Deanne K. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Very preterm children are at a high risk for neurodevelopmental impairments, but there is variability in the pattern and severity of outcome. Neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enhances the capacity to detect brain injury and altered brain development and assists in the prediction of high-risk children who warrant surveillance and early intervention. This review describes the application of conventional and advanced MRI with very preterm neonates, specifically focusing on the relationship between neonatal MRI findings and later neurodevelopmental outcome. Research demonstrates that conventional MRI is strongly associated with neurodevelopmental outcome in childhood. Further studies are needed to examine the role of advanced MRI techniques in predicting outcome in very preterm children, but early research findings are promising. In conclusion, neonatal MRI is predictive of later neurodevelopment but is dependent on appropriately trained specialists and should be interpreted in conjunction with other clinical and social information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion weight imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neurodevelopmental outcome
  • Very preterm

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