Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and outcome in term neonates with chorioamnionitis

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Evaluate brain metabolites, which reflect neuroinflammation, and relate to neurodevelopmental outcomes in healthy term neonates exposed to chorioamnionitis.


Thirty-one healthy term neonates with documented fetal inflammatory response after maternal chorioamnionitis underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), with voxels placed in basal ganglia (BG) and frontal white matter. Bayley III examinations were performed at 12 months of age.


Infants with below average outcomes did not show the same increase in NAA/Cho ratios postnatally as the group with normal outcomes. Decreased NAA/Cho and increased Lac/Cr in BG correlated with lower motor and cognitive composite scores, respectively, controlling for postnatal age. In males, increased lactate/NAA in BG were associated with lower motor scores. Funisitis severity was associated with decreased NAA/Cho and increased mI/NAA in males.


In healthy term newborns with chorioamnionitis, MRS ratios shortly after birth may provide evidence of occult neuroinflammation, which may be associated with worse performance on 1-year neurodevelopmental tests.

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