Extrauterine environment influences spontaneous low-frequency oscillations in the preterm brain.
ABSTRACT Low-frequency oscillations in cerebral blood flow that are suggestive of resting-state brain activity have recently been reported, but no study on the development of resting-state brain activity in preterm infants has been performed. The objective of this study was to measure the cerebral blood flow oscillations, which are assumed to represent brain function in the resting state, in preterm and term infants of the same postconceptional age. The subjects were 9 preterm infants who had reached full term (gestational age (GA): 23-34weeks, postconceptional age: 37-46weeks) and 10 term infants (GA: 37-40weeks, postconceptional age: 37-41weeks). Their changes in concentration of oxyhemoglobin ([oxyHb]) and deoxyhemoglobin ([deoxyHb]) were measured in the parieto-temporal region during quiet sleep using multi-channel near-infrared spectroscopy, and the power spectral densities (PSD) of the oscillations in the concentrations of these molecules were analyzed and compared. The preterm infants displayed a higher proportion of 0.06-0.10Hz low frequency oscillations of [oxyHb] and [deoxyHb] than the term infants, and the gestational age and the proportion of low frequency oscillations were inversely correlated. These findings suggest that resting-state cerebral blood flow oscillations differ between preterm and term infants, and that the development of circulatory regulation and nerve activity in preterm infants are influenced by the extrauterine environment.