Comparison of preterm and term equivalent age MRI for the evaluation of preterm brain injury

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare information obtained from preterm magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; 31-34 weeks) brain scan to that done at term equivalent age.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective observational study of premature infants with evidence or suspicion of parenchymal brain injury on cranial ultrasound. Brain injury on two scans scored using a scoring system and analyzed.

RESULTS:

Fourteen infants with a median (range) gestation at birth of 28 (25-29) weeks and birth weight of 1254 (680-1557) grams were studied. There was a strong correlation between the brain injury scores for the two scans (Spearman ρ = 0.87, P = 0.001) with excellent agreement between two radiologists (interclass correlation coefficient 0.9-0.94). There was also a high level of agreement between the preterm and term MRI two scores (Intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.79 (0.53-0.94)).

CONCLUSIONS:

Preterm MRI is a feasible option for the assessment of preterm brain injury and analysis of data obtained from scan at preterm age is comparable to that obtained at term equivalent age.

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