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Predictive Values of Location and Volumetric MRI Injury Patterns for Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Neonates.


Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a severe neonatal complication with up to 40-60% long-term morbidity. This study evaluates the distribution and burden of MRI changes as a prognostic indicator of neurodevelopmental (ND) outcomes at 18-24 months in HIE infants who were treated with therapeutic hypothermia (TH). Term or late preterm infants who were treated with TH for HIE were analyzed between June 2012 and March 2016. Brain MRI scans were obtained from 107 TH treated infants. For each infant, diffusion weighted brain image (DWI) sequences from a 3T Siemens scanner were obtained for analysis. Of the 107 infants, 36 of the 107 infants (33.6%) had normal brain MR images, and 71 of the 107 infants (66.4%) had abnormal MRI findings. The number of clinical seizures was significantly higher in the abnormal MRI group (p < 0.001) than in the normal MRI group. At 18-24 months, 76 of the 107 infants (70.0%) showed normal ND stages, and 31 of the 107 infants (29.0%) exhibited abnormal ND stages. A lesion size count >500 was significantly associated with abnormal ND. Similarly, the total lesion count was larger in the abnormal ND group (14.16 vs. 5.29). More lesions in the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus areas and a trend towards more abnormal MRI scans were significantly associated with abnormal ND at 18-24 months. In addition to clinical seizure, a larger total lesion count and lesion size as well as lesion involvement of the basal ganglia and thalamus were significantly associated with abnormal neurodevelopment at 18-24 months.

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