The Effect of Size and Asymmetry at Birth on Brain Injury and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Congenital Heart Disease
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s00246-021-02798-5
Poor and asymmetric fetal growth have been associated with neonatal brain injury (BI) and worse neurodevelopmental outcomes (NDO) in the growth-restricted population due to placental insufficiency. We tested the hypothesis that postnatal markers of fetal growth (birthweight (BW), head circumference (HC), and head to body symmetry) are associated with preoperative white matter injury (WMI) and NDO in infants with single ventricle physiology (SVP) and d-transposition of great arteries (TGA). 173 term newborns (106 TGA; 67 SVP) at two sites had pre-operative brain MRI to assess for WMI and measures of microstructural brain development. NDO was assessed at 30 months with the Bayley Scale of Infant Development-II (n = 69). We tested the association between growth parameters at birth with the primary outcome of WMI on the pre-operative brain MRI. Secondary outcomes included measures of NDO. Newborns with TGA were more likely to have growth asymmetry with smaller heads relative to weight while SVP newborns were symmetrically small. There was no association between BW, HC or asymmetry and WMI on preoperative brain MRI or with measures of microstructural brain development. Similarly, growth parameters at birth were not associated with NDO at 30 months. In a multivariable model only cardiac lesion and site were associated with NDO. Unlike other high-risk infant populations, postnatal markers of fetal growth including head to body asymmetry that is common in TGA is not associated with brain injury or NDO. Lesion type appears to play a more important role in NDO in CHD.