Cerebral measurements made using cranial ultrasound in term Ugandan newborns

Early Hum Dev. 2011 May;87(5):341-7. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.01.044. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Background: Few cUS studies of cerebral measurements are available for normal term infants. Normative data is important for evaluating cerebral structure size in symptomatic term infants and assessing preterm brain growth by term age.

Objectives: To (i) make linear measurements using cranial ultrasound (cUS) for major cerebral structures and intracranial spaces in normal newborn term infants, (ii) correlate these measurements with gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW), head circumference (HC), gender and within one infant (iii) examine inter/intra-observer variation, and (iv) compare these data with those currently available.

Design, setting and patients: Linear cUS measurements of major cerebral structures were made in well term-born Ugandan infants at Mulago University Hospital, Kampala. Correlations between the measurements and gender, HC, BW and GA were calculated. Intra- and inter-observer agreements were assessed.

Results: Data from 106 infants (mean GA 39.20±1.4SD weeks) were analysed. Intra/inter-observer agreement was substantial/excellent. Significant correlations were found between HC and pons anterior-posterior diameter (p<0.01), corpus callosal (CC) length (p=0.02) and transverse cerebellar diameter (TCD, p<0.01) and between BW and CC length (p=0.02), vermis height (<0.01) and thalamo-occipital distance (p=0.03); no significant correlation was found with GA. Within infants CC length and TCD correlated significantly (p=0.019). Males had larger left ventricular indices than females (p=0.04). The data was similar to those from other populations.

Conclusions: These data provide reliable reference values for linear measurements of many cerebral structures made using cUS. The data agree well with those from other populations suggesting that cerebral size is similar in different ethnic groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Echoencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Reference Values
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uganda