Neuroimaging Findings in Normocephalic Newborns With Intrauterine Zika Virus Exposure

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pediatric Neurology






congenital infection; congenital Zika syndrome; cranial nerve; Guillain-Barré syndrome; magnetic resonance imaging; perinatal infarct; peripheral neuropathy; virus


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Background Congenital Zika infection can result in a spectrum of neurological abnormalities in the newborn. Newborns exposed to Zika virus in utero often have neuroimaging as part of their clinical evaluation. Methods Through the Congenital Zika Program at Children's National Health System in Washington DC, we performed fetal or neonatal neuroimaging, including magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, on over 70 fetuses or neonates with intrauterine Zika exposure. Novel findings on neonatal brain magnetic resonance imaging were observed in two instances. Results Gadolinium-contrast magnetic resonance imaging showed enhancement of multiple cranial nerves at three days of age on one infant. Another infant underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 16 days of age and was shown to have a chronic ischemic cerebral infarction. This infant had previously normal fetal magnetic resonance imaging. Conclusion Cranial nerve enhancement and cerebral infarction may be among the expanding list of neurological findings in congenital Zika infection. Postnatal brain magnetic resonance imaging should be considered for newborns exposed to Zika virus in utero.

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