T1- and T2-weighted (T1w and T2w) images are essential for tissue classification and anatomical localization in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) analyses. However, these anatomical data can be challenging to acquire in non-sedated neonatal cohorts, which are prone to high amplitude movement and display lower tissue contrast than adults. As a result, one of these modalities may be missing or of such poor quality that they cannot be used for accurate image processing, resulting in subject loss. While recent literature attempts to overcome these issues in adult populations using synthetic imaging approaches, evaluation of the efficacy of these methods in pediatric populations and the impact of these techniques in conventional MR analyses has not been performed. In this work, we present two novel methods to generate pseudo-T2w images: the first is based in deep learning and expands upon previous models to 3D imaging without the requirement of paired data, the second is based in nonlinear multi-atlas registration providing a computationally lightweight alternative. We demonstrate the anatomical accuracy of pseudo-T2w images and their efficacy in existing MR processing pipelines in two independent neonatal cohorts. Critically, we show that implementing these pseudo-T2w methods in resting-state functional MRI analyses produces virtually identical functional connectivity results when compared to those resulting from T2w images, confirming their utility in infant MRI studies for salvaging otherwise lost subject data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119091
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Deep learning
  • Multi-atlas fusion
  • Neonate
  • Neuroimaging
  • Structural MRI
  • Synthetic medical images


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