Corpus callosum differences assessed by fetal MRI in late-onset intrauterine growth restriction and its association with neurobehavior

Prenat Diagn. 2014 Sep;34(9):843-9. doi: 10.1002/pd.4381. Epub 2014 May 2.


Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate corpus callosum (CC) development by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in late-onset intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) fetuses compared to appropriate for gestational age and its association with neurobehavioral outcome.

Method: One hundred and seventeen late-onset IUGR and 73 control fetuses were imaged using a 3T MRI scanner at term, obtaining T2 half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo anatomical slices. CC length, thickness, total area and the areas after a subdivision in 7 portions were assessed. Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale test was performed on IUGR newborns at 42 ± 1 weeks.

Results: IUGR fetuses showed significantly smaller CC (Total CC Area IUGR: 1.3996 ± 0.26 vs. AGA: 1.664 ± 0.31; p < 0.01) and smaller subdivision areas as compared with controls. The differences were slightly more pronounced in fetuses with very low birth weight and/or abnormal brain and/or abnormal uterine Doppler. CC measurements were significantly associated with neurobehavioral outcome in IUGR cases.

Conclusions: CC development was significantly altered in late-onset IUGR fetuses and correlated with worse neurobehavioral performance. CC could be further explored as a potential imaging biomarker to predict abnormal neurodevelopment in pregnancies at risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Corpus Callosum / embryology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / pathology*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / psychology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Observer Variation
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies