Scientific article

Intrauterine growth restriction affects the preterm infant's hippocampus

Published inPediatric research, vol. 63, no. 4, p. 438-443
Publication date2008

The hippocampus is known to be vulnerable to hypoxia, stress, and undernutrition, all likely to be present in fetal intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The effect of IUGR in preterm infants on the hippocampus was studied using 3D magnetic resonance imaging at term-equivalent age Thirteen preterm infants born with IUGR after placental insufficiency were compared with 13 infants with normal intrauterine growth age matched for gestational age. The hippocampal structural differences were defined using voxel-based morphometry and manual segmentation. The specific neurobehavioral function was evaluated by the Assessment of Preterm Infants' Behavior at term and at 24 mo of corrected age by a Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. Voxel-based morphometry detected significant gray matter volume differences in the hippocampus between the two groups. This finding was confirmed by manual segmentation of the hippocampus with a reduction of hippocampal volume after IUGR. The hippocampal volume reduction was further associated with functional behavioral differences at term-equivalent age in all six subdomains of the Assessment of Preterm Infants' Behavior but not at 24 mo of corrected age. We conclude that hippocampal development in IUGR is altered and might result from a combination of maternal corticosteroid hormone exposure, hypoxemia, and micronutrient deficiency.

  • Birth Weight/physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation/pathology/physiopathology
  • Hippocampus/embryology/pathology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant Behavior/physiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature/physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
Citation (ISO format)
LODYGENSKY, Gregory Anton et al. Intrauterine growth restriction affects the preterm infant’s hippocampus. In: Pediatric research, 2008, vol. 63, n° 4, p. 438–443. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e318165c005
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0031-3998

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