The long-term effect of perinatal asphyxia on hippocampal volumes

Kim V. Annink, Linda S. de Vries, Floris Groenendaal, Martijn P. van den Heuvel, Neeltje E.M. van Haren, Hanna Swaab, Mariëlle van Handel, Marian J. Jongmans, Manon J. Benders, Niek E. van der Aa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in term-born infants can lead to memory problems. The hippocampus is important for long-term episodic memory. The primary aim was to investigate the effect of HIE on hippocampal volumes in 9- to 10-year-old children. The secondary aim was to investigate the association between hippocampal volumes and previously found impaired memory and cognitive functions in the current cohort. Methods: In total 26 children with mild HIE, 26 with moderate HIE, and 37 controls were included. The intelligence quotient (IQ) and memory were tested. A 3D-volumetric MRI was obtained. Brain segmentation was performed for hippocampal volumes and intracranial volume. The differences in hippocampal volumes, memory, and IQ between the groups were determined. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed, including hippocampal volume as a percentage of intracranial volume as a dependent variable. Results: Smaller hippocampal volumes were found in moderate HIE (p < 0.001), with a trend toward smaller volumes in mild HIE, compared to controls. In multivariable linear regression analysis, hippocampal volume as a percentage of intracranial volume was significantly associated with long-term visuospatial memory. Conclusion: Children with moderate HIE had smaller hippocampal volumes than controls, with a trend toward smaller volumes following mild HIE. Reduced hippocampal volumes were associated with poorer long-term visuospatial memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Princess Beatrix Fund [MAR03-0122].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.


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