Exploring the utility of early postnatal cranial ultrasonography and brain magnetic resonance imaging to predict long-term neurodevelopment in infants born very preterm

Research Opportunity
Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
Department / Centre
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Women’s Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Rocco Cuzilla rocco.cuzilla@thewomens.org.au 83453763

Summary Very preterm infants are at higher risk of brain injury. In this study we will explore the relationship between brain measurements from standard early cranial ultrasounds performed in NICU, with MRI taken when the baby reaches term, to determine is this help predicts neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood.

Project Details

Infants born very preterm, less than 32 weeks’ gestation, are at higher risk of brain injury, leading to problems walking, thinking, talking, hearing, and seeing, compared with infants born at term.  Identifying high-risk infants provides an opportunity for earlier intervention with therapies that might improve outcomes.  Cranial ultrasonography (cUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the imaging methods most commonly used in the newborn period to identify high-risk infants.  cUS is easier and less expensive to perform, but it provides less detail on brain injury than MRI.  Simple measurements of brain growth made from cUS may improve its accuracy to identify high-risk infants.

The proposed study will: (1) explore the relationship between measurements of brain growth made from cUS early in a baby’s life with the appearance of their MRI taken when the baby reaches term; and (2) determine whether adding these measurements to the baby’s MRI “score” at term gives better prediction of outcomes in childhood.

The student will have the opportunity to attend the neonatal intensive care unit at The Women’s and observe the imaging of similar infants as well as their day to day care.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Research Node

Royal Women’s Hospital

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