STOOPS - Paediatric MR Imaging Study

StOOPS is a follow-up study to the PORTO Study which aimed to investigate and quantify patterns of brain injury, volume and function in infants using advanced 3T magnetic resonance imaging. This study brings together several clinical specialties in a unique multidisciplinary environment.

Babies born with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are at a higher risk of having learning difficulties, speech and language delays and requiring assistance in school. Early pick up of these issues can maximise their outcome.

Study Design

A cohort of PORTO babies were assessed using MRI brain scans and the scans of babies with abnormal ultrasound doppler examinations were compared, to those with normal Doppler examinations (and healthy well grown controls). These children will also have a developmental assessment at 2 years of age.

Our main interest was in assessing the volumes of various regions of the brain especially the hippocampus, cerebellum and central grey nuclei to see if we can determine a difference between the groups and if this will help predict those requiring further assessment and support. Recruitment and scanning is currently complete and analysis and interpretation of the results is underway.

Funding and Recruitment

The StOOPS study utilised the HRB funded 3T MRI scanner in the Centre for Advanced Medical Imaging (CAMI) unit in St. James's Hospital and was the first Irish paediatric study to utilise 3T imaging. The StOOPS study was funded by the Temple Street research body - The Children's Fund for Health.