Regional and Hemispheric Asymmetries of Cerebral Hemodynamic and Oxygen Metabolism in Newborns

The Optics Division, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 02/2012; 23(2). DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhs023
Source: PubMed


Understanding the evolution of regional and hemispheric asymmetries in the early stages of life is essential to the advancement of developmental neuroscience. By using 2 noninvasive optical methods, frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy, we measured cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation (SO(2)), blood volume (CBV), an index of cerebral blood flow (CBF(i)), and the metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO(2i)) in the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions of 70 premature and term newborns. In concordance with results obtained using more invasive imaging modalities, we verified both hemodynamic (CBV, CBF(i), and SO(2)) and metabolic (CMRO(2i)) parameters were greater in the temporal and parietal regions than in the frontal region and that these differences increased with age. In addition, we found that most parameters were significantly greater in the right hemisphere than in the left. Finally, in comparing age-matched males and females, we found that males had higher CBF(i) in most cortical regions, higher CMRO(2i) in the frontal region, and more prominent right-left CBF(i) asymmetry. These results reveal, for the first time, that we can detect regional and hemispheric asymmetries in newborns using noninvasive optical techniques. Such a bedside screening tool may facilitate early detection of abnormalities and delays in maturation of specific cortical areas.

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    • "Indeed, the human brain displays structural and functional asymmetries from the preterm period on. Markers of maturational development show a differential calendar in the left and right hemispheres (Chiron et al., 1997; Dubois et al., 2008; Leroy et al., 2011; Lin et al., 2012) and several studies using near infra-red spectroscopy (Mahmoudzadeh et al., 2013; Telkemeyer et al., 2011), fMRI (Dehaene-Lambertz et al., 2010; Perani et al., 2010), and ERPs (Bristow et al., 2009) describe functional asymmetries which suggest a functional counterpart of the structural asymmetries. As an additional control for the possibility that the observed differences in response to the last sound were due to chance, we introduced in our analyses the factor ''stimulus number'', and tested whether the difference between conditions was significantly larger for the last vowel than during the first three vowels. "
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    • "Supporting this explanation, gene transcription analyses of the embryonic human brain reveal less expression of genes that are critical for cortical development in the left hemisphere, and suggest that left hemisphere development lags behind that of the right hemisphere (Sun et al., 2005). In addition, lower cerebral blood volume and oxygenation in the left compared to the right hemisphere of newborns implies that a delayed maturation in the left hemisphere may enhance its plasticity to environmental stimuli as well as its vulnerability to insults (Lin et al., 2013). Finally, patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) arising from the left side exhibit greater anatomic abnormalities than patients with right-sided TLE (Kemmotsu et al., 2011). "
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