This study aims to compare the cerebellar biochemical profiles in preterm (PT) infants evaluated at term equivalent age (TEA) and healthy full-term newborns using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). We explore the associations between altered cerebellar metabolite profiles and brain injury topography, severity of injury, and prematurity-related clinical complications. We prospectively collected high quality 1H-MRS in 59 premature infants born ≤32 weeks and 61 healthy full term controls. 1H-MRS data were processed using LCModel software to calculate absolute metabolite concentration for N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho) and creatine (Cr). PT infants had significantly lower cerebellar NAA (p < 0.025) and higher Cho (p < 0.001) at TEA when compared to healthy controls. Creatine was not different between the two groups. The presence of cerebellar injury was consistently associated with reduced concentrations for NAA, Cho, and Cr. Postnatal infection was negatively associated with NAA and Cr (p < 005), while cerebral cortical brain injury severity was inversely associated with both Cho and Cr (p < 0.01). We report for the first time that premature birth is associated with altered cerebellar metabolite profiles when compared to term born controls. Infection, cerebellar injury and supratentorial injury are important risk factors for impaired preterm cerebellar biochemistry.
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Brossard-Racine, M., Murnick, J., Bouyssi-Kobar, M., Coloumbe, J., Chang, T., & Limperopoulos, C. (2017). Altered Cerebellar Biochemical Profiles in Infants Born Prematurely. Scientific Reports, (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08195-4