Article

Prenatal Mild Ventriculomegaly Predicts Abnormal Development of the Neonatal Brain

Schizophrenia Research Center and the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160, USA.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 10/2008; 64(12):1069-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.07.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with mild enlargement of the lateral ventricles thought to have origins in prenatal brain development. Little is known about development of the lateral ventricles and the relationship of prenatal lateral ventricle enlargement with postnatal brain development.
We performed neonatal magnetic resonance imaging on 34 children with isolated mild ventriculomegaly (MVM; width of the atrium of the lateral ventricle >/= 1.0 cm) on prenatal ultrasound and 34 age- and sex-matched control subjects with normal prenatal ventricle size. Lateral ventricle and cortical gray and white matter volumes were assessed. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) in corpus callosum and corticospinal white matter tracts were determined obtained using quantitative tractography.
Neonates with prenatal MVM had significantly larger lateral ventricle volumes than matched control subjects (286.4%; p < .0001). Neonates with MVM also had significantly larger intracranial volumes (ICV; 7.1%, p = .0063) and cortical gray matter volumes (10.9%, p = .0004) compared with control subjects. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography revealed a significantly greater MD in the corpus callosum and corticospinal tracts, whereas FA was significantly smaller in several white matter tract regions.
Prenatal enlargement of the lateral ventricle is associated with enlargement of the lateral ventricles after birth, as well as greater gray matter volumes and delayed or abnormal maturation of white matter. It is suggested that prenatal ventricle volume is an early structural marker of altered development of the cerebral cortex and may be a marker of risk for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with ventricle enlargement.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Little is known about the temporospatial shape characteristics of human lateral ventricles (LVs) during the first two years of life. This study aimed to delineate the morphological growth characteristics of LVs during early infancy using longitudinally acquired MR images in normal healthy infants. Methods 24 healthy infants were MR imaged starting from 2 weeks old every 3 months during the first and every 6 months during the second year. Bilateral LVs were segmented and longitudinal morphological and shape analysis were conducted using longitudinal mixed effect models. Results A significant bilateral ventricular volume increase (p<0.0001) is observed in year one (Left: 126±51% and Right: 145±62%), followed by a significant reduction (p<0.02) during the second year of life (Left: −24±27% and Right: −20±18%) despite the continuing increase of intracranial volume. Morphological analysis reveals that the ventricular growth is spatially non-uniform, and that the most significant growth occurs during the first 6 months. The first 3 months of life exhibit a significant (p<0.01) bilateral lengthening of the anterior lateral ventricle and a significant increase of radius (p<0.01) and area (p<0.01) at the posterior portion of the ventricle. Shape analysis shows that the horns exhibit a faster growth rate than the mid-body. Finally, bilateral significant age effects (p<0.01) are observed for the growth of LVs whereas gender effects are more subtle and significant effects (p<0.01) only present at the left anterior and posterior horns. More importantly, both the age and gender effects are growth directionally dependent. Conclusions We have demonstrated the temporospatial shape growth characteristics of human LVs during the first two years of life using a unique longitudinal MR data set. A temporally and spatially non-uniform growth pattern was reported. These normative results could provide invaluable information to discern abnormal growth patterns in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders.
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