Purpose: To evaluate regional cerebral blood flow with power and pulsed wave Doppler ultrasound (US) in extremely low-birth-weight neonates with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH), or both.
Materials and methods: The lenticulostriate arteries of 17 preterm neonates (birth weight < or = 1,100 g) were assessed daily with Doppler US during the first 5-6 days of life. The mean arterial pressure and bilateral peak velocity, resistive index, coronal vascular cross-sectional area, and product of the peak velocity and vascular cross-sectional area were measured.
Results: Five neonates developed PVL, GMH, or both; results of follow-up examinations in 11 patients were normal. One neonate with severe intrauterine growth retardation and renal tubular acidosis was excluded. Neonates with PVL, GMH, or both showed significantly greater mean values and more variable values of vascular cross-sectional area and product of peak velocity and cross-sectional area than neonates without PVL or GMH (P < .025). Mean resistive index was significantly lower in neonates with PVL, GMH, or both than in neonates without (P < .01). There were no significant differences between mean arterial pressure in neonates with and those without PVL, GMH, or both.
Conclusion: By enabling the detection of autoregulatory fluctuations in cerebral blood flow associated with hypoxic-ischemic injury, power and pulsed wave Doppler US may enable identification of preterm neonates who are at risk of developing PVL, GMH, or both during the 1st week of life.