A systematic review on brain injury and altered brain development in moderate-late preterm infants

Vivian Boswinkel, Jacqueline Nijboer-Oosterveld, Ingrid M Nijholt, Mireille A Edens, Susanne M Mulder-de Tollenaer, Martijn F Boomsma, Linda S de Vries, Gerda van Wezel-Meijler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To provide a systematic review of brain injury and altered brain development in moderate-late preterm (MLPT) infants as compared to very preterm and term infants.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic search in five databases was performed in January 2020. Original research papers on incidence of brain injury and papers using quantitative data on brain development in MLPT infants were selected. The Johanna Briggs Institute 'Critical Appraisal Checklist for Studies Reporting Prevalence Data' was used for quality appraisal. Data extraction included: imaging modality, incidences of brain injury, brain volumes, 2D-measurements and diffusivity values.

RESULTS: In total, 24 studies were eligible. Most studies had a moderate quality. Twenty studies reported on the incidence of brain injury in MLPT infants. The incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) ranged from 0.0% to 23.5% and of white matter injury (WMI) from 0.5% to 10.8%. One study reported the incidence of arterial infarction (0.3%) and none of cerebellar hemorrhage. Eleven studies compared incidences of brain injury between MLPT infants and very preterm or term infants. Five studies reported signs of altered brain development in MLPT infants.

CONCLUSIONS: The incidences of IVH and WMI in MLPT infants varied widely between studies. Other abnormalities were sparsely reported. Evidence regarding a higher or lower incidence of brain injury in MLPT infants compared to very preterm or term infants is weak due to moderate methodological quality of reported studies. There is limited evidence suggesting a difference in brain development between MLPT and term infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105094
Pages (from-to)105094
JournalEarly Human Development
Volume148
Early online date28 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Keywords

  • Brain imaging
  • Brain injury
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Moderate-late preterm infants

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