Research: Morphometric Analysis of Brain in Newborn with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Brain Sci

. 2021 Apr 2;11(4):455. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11040455.

Morphometric Analysis of Brain in Newborn with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Martina Lucignani 1Daniela Longo 2Elena Fontana 2Maria Camilla Rossi-Espagnet 2 3Giulia Lucignani 2Sara Savelli 4Stefano Bascetta 4Stefania Sgrò 5Francesco Morini 6Paola Giliberti 6Antonio Napolitano 1Affiliations expand

Free PMC article


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a severe pediatric disorder with herniation of abdominal viscera into the thoracic cavity. Since neurodevelopmental impairment constitutes a common outcome, we performed morphometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis on CDH infants to investigate cortical parameters such as cortical thickness (CT) and local gyrification index (LGI). By assessing CT and LGI distributions and their correlations with variables which might have an impact on oxygen delivery (total lung volume, TLV), we aimed to detect how altered perfusion affects cortical development in CDH. A group of CDH patients received both prenatal (i.e., fetal stage) and postnatal MRI. From postnatal high-resolution T2-weighted images, mean CT and LGI distributions of 16 CDH were computed and statistically compared to those of 13 controls. Moreover, TLV measures obtained from fetal MRI were further correlated to LGI. Compared to controls, CDH infants exhibited areas of hypogiria within bilateral fronto-temporo-parietal labels, while no differences were found for CT. LGI significantly correlated with TLV within bilateral temporal lobes and left frontal lobe, involving language- and auditory-related brain areas. Although the causes of neurodevelopmental impairment in CDH are still unclear, our results may suggest their link with altered cortical maturation and possible impaired oxygen perfusion.

Keywords: congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH); cortical thickness (CT); local gyrification index (LGI); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); total lung volume (TLV).

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