Impaired in vivo feto-placental development is associated with neonatal neurobehavioral outcomes
BACKGROUND: Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a risk factor for neurodevelopmental problems, yet remains poorly understood. We sought to examine the relationship between intrauterine development and neonatal neurobehavior in pregnancies diagnosed with antenatal FGR. METHODS: We recruited women with singleton pregnancies diagnosed with FGR and measured placental and fetal brain volumes using MRI. NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) assessments were performed at term equivalent age. Associations between intrauterine volumes and neurobehavioral outcomes were assessed using generalized estimating equation models. RESULTS: We enrolled 44 women diagnosed with FGR who underwent fetal MRI and 28 infants underwent NNNS assessments. Placental volumes were associated with increased self-regulation and decreased excitability; total brain, brainstem, cortical and subcortical gray matter (SCGM) volumes were positively associated with higher self-regulation; SCGM also was positively associated with higher quality of movement; increasing cerebellar volumes were positively associated with attention, decreased lethargy, non-optimal reflexes and need for special handling; brainstem volumes also were associated with decreased lethargy and non-optimal reflexes; cerebral and cortical white matter volumes were positively associated with hypotonicity. CONCLUSION: Disrupted intrauterine growth in pregnancies complicated by antenatally diagnosed FGR is associated with altered neonatal neurobehavior. Further work to determine long-term neurodevelopmental impacts is warranted. IMPACT: Fetal growth restriction is a risk factor for adverse neurodevelopment, but remains difficult to accurately identify. Intrauterine brain volumes are associated with infant neurobehavior. The antenatal diagnosis of fetal growth restriction is a risk factor for abnormal infant neurobehavior.
Andescavage, Nickie; Bullen, Theresa; Liggett, Melissa; Barnett, Scott D.; Kapse, Anushree; Kapse, Kushal; Ahmadzia, Homa; Vezina, Gilbert; Quistorff, Jessica; Lopez, Catherine; duPlessis, Adre; and Limperopoulos, Catherine, "Impaired in vivo feto-placental development is associated with neonatal neurobehavioral outcomes" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 1964.