Cerebral MRI findings in very-low-birth-weight and small-for-gestational-age children at 15 years of age

Pediatr Radiol. 2005 Aug;35(8):758-65. doi: 10.1007/s00247-005-1446-2. Epub 2005 Apr 28.


Background: A high prevalence of abnormal cerebral MRI findings has been reported in low-birth-weight children.

Objective: To compare MRI findings in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) and term small-for-gestational-age (SGA) children with controls in early adolescence.

Materials and methods: Cerebral MRI was used to examine 55 VLBW, 54 SGA and 66 controls at 15 years of age. The MR images were qualitatively assessed, and size of ventricles, white-matter and grey-matter abnormalities were reported.

Results: The VLBW teenagers had a higher prevalence of various MRI abnormalities than SGA children and controls. Dilation of the ventricular system, especially of the occipital horns, was found in 82% of the VLBW group, in 19% of the SGA group and in 21% of controls. White-matter reduction was found in 53% of the VLBW, in 6% of the SGA and in 2% of controls. Corpus callosum thinning was found in 47% of the VLBW, in 2% of the SGA and in 6% of controls. Periventricular gliosis was found in 29% of the VLBW, in 4% of the SGA and in 8% of controls.

Conclusions: Cerebral MRI pathology in white matter is a common finding in VLBW teenagers. The findings may indicate minor perinatal PVL with resulting loss of white-matter tissue and ventricular dilation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Corpus Callosum / diagnostic imaging
  • Corpus Callosum / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Gliosis / epidemiology
  • Gliosis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Radiography