Brain Growth Evaluation Assessed with Transfontanellar (B-GREAT) UltrasoundOld and New Bedside Markers to Estimate Cerebral Growth in Preterm Infants: A Pilot Study

Roberta Arena*, Francesca Gallini, Domenico Umberto De Rose, Francesca Conte, Luca Giraldi, Teresa Pianini, Alessandro Perri, Piero Catenazzi, Luigi Orfeo, Giovanni Vento, Paul Govaert

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective We aimed to investigate the feasibility of evaluating overall preterm brain growth using a gathered set of measurements of brain structures in standard cranial ultrasound planes. We called this method of assessment Brain Growth Evaluation Assessed with Transfontanellar ultrasound (B-GREAT). Study design In this prospective observational cohort study, cranial ultrasound was regularly performed (on day 1, 2, 3, and 7 of life, and then weekly until discharge, and at term) in preterm infants born with gestational age (GA) less than 32 weeks. We evaluated corpus callosum length, corpus callosum-fastigium length, anterior horn width, frontal white matter height, total brain surface, deep grey matter height, hemisphere height, transverse cerebellar diameter in the axial view, and transverse cerebellar diameter coronal view. Measurements obtained were used to develop growth charts for B-GREAT markers as a function of postmenstrual age. Reproducibility of B-GREAT markers was studied. Results A total of 528 cranial ultrasounds were performed in 80 neonates (median birth GA: 28 +5weeks and interquartile range: 27 +3-30 +5). The intraclass correlation coefficients for intra-observer and inter-observer analyses showed substantial agreement for all B-GREAT markers. Growth curves for B-GREAT markers were developed. Conclusion B-GREAT is a feasible and reproducible method for bedside monitoring of the growth of the main brain structures in preterm neonates. Key Points Overall neonatal brain growth is not routinely monitored using ultrasound. Old and new markers were used to build a standardized and non-invasive tool to monitor brain growth. All B-GREAT measurements had a good intra-observer and inter-observer agreement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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