Clinical Factors Associated with Cerebral Metabolism in Term Neonates with Congenital Heart Disease

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To determine associations between patient and clinical factors with postnatal brain metabolism in term neonates with congenital heart disease (CHD) via the use of quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Study design

Neonates with CHD were enrolled prospectively to undergo pre- and postoperative 3T brain magnetic resonance imaging. Short-echo single-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy of parietal white matter was used to quantify metabolites related to brain maturation (n-acetyl aspartate, choline, myo- inositol), neurotransmitters (glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid), energy metabolism (glutamine, citrate, glucose, and phosphocreatine), and injury/apoptosis (lactate and lipids). Multivariable regression was performed to search for associations between (1) patient-specific/prenatal/preoperative factors with concurrent brain metabolism and (2) intraoperative and postoperative factors with postoperative brain metabolism.


A total of 83 magnetic resonance images were obtained on 55 subjects. No patient-specific, prenatal, or preoperative factors associated with concurrent metabolic brain dysmaturation or elevated lactate could be identified. Chromosome 22q11 microdeletion and age at surgery were predictive of altered concurrent white matter phosphocreatine (P < .0055). The only significant intraoperative association found was increased deep hypothermic circulatory arrest time with reduced postoperative white matter glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (P < .0072). Multiple postoperative factors, including increased number of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation days (P < .0067), intensive care unit, length of stay (P < .0047), seizures in the intensive care unit (P < .0009), and home antiepileptic use (P < .0002), were associated with reduced postoperative white matter n-acetyl aspartate.


Multiple postoperative factors were found to be associated with altered brain metabolism in term infants with CHD, but not patient-specific, preoperative, or intraoperative factors.

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