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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

ABSTRACT 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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