Fetal brain volumes and neurodevelopmental outcome of intrauterine growth restricted fetuses

Jorden Halevy*, Reut Peretz, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Eldad Katorza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aims to investigate the correlation of MRI measured fetal brain volumetrics with long-term neurodevelopmental outcome, among intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) and apparently healthy fetuses. Study design: A historical cohort study at a single tertiary referral medical center during 6 years period, of fetuses diagnosed with IUGR due to placental insufficiency, and apparently healthy fetuses, who had fetal brain MRI scan. The volumes of the supratentorial brain region, both hemispheres and the cerebellum were measured by 3D MRI semi-automated volume measurements. The cerebellar to supratentorial ratio (CER/ST) was calculated. Volumes were plotted on normal growth curves. 17 IUGR fetuses, and 53 apparently healthy fetuses adhered to participate in the VABS-II questionnaire, evaluating neurodevelopmental outcome. Results: 70 patients (mean age at conducting VABS-II questionnaire 4.4 ± 2.1 years, 38 males) were evaluated. Among fetuses born in a gestational age of 36 weeks or later, IUGR fetuses demonstrated a significantly larger number of abnormal results in the VABS-II communication domain (p =.049). No significant differences were found in other domains or in overall neurodevelopmental outcome. The CER/ST ratio correlated with the overall neurodevelopmental outcome of the total study population (r = 0.40, p <.001), and of the IUGR group separately (ρ = 0.58, p =.02). Conclusion: CER/ST ratio measured using fetal brain MRI was found to be correlated with long term neurodevelopmental outcome. This result may aid in clinical interpretation of biometric data obtained by fetal brain MRI, linking it with long term neurodevelopmental outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111143
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Nov 2023


FundersFunder number
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


    • Brain
    • Child development
    • Fetal growth retardation
    • Fetus
    • Magnetic resonance imaging


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