, Volume 218, Issue 3, pp 645-655
Date: 01 May 2012

Volumetric and surface-based 3D MRI analyses of fetal isolated mild ventriculomegaly

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Abstract

Diagnosis of fetal isolated mild ventriculomegaly (IMVM) is the most common brain abnormality on prenatal ultrasound. We have set to identify potential alterations in brain development specific to IMVM in tissue volume and cortical and ventricular local surface curvature derived from in utero magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Multislice 2D T2-weighted MRI were acquired from 32 fetuses (16 IMVM, 16 controls) between 22 and 25.5 gestational weeks. The images were motion-corrected and reconstructed into 3D volumes for volumetric and curvature analyses. The brain images were automatically segmented into cortical plate, cerebral mantle, deep gray nuclei, and ventricles. Volumes were compared between IMVM and control subjects. Surfaces were extracted from the segmentations for local mean surface curvature measurement on the inner cortical plate and the ventricles. Linear models were estimated for age-related and ventricular volume-associated changes in local curvature in both the inner cortical plate and ventricles. While ventricular volume was enlarged in IMVM, all other tissue volumes were not different from the control group. Ventricles increased in curvature with age along the atrium and anterior body. Increasing ventricular volume was associated with reduced curvature over most of the ventricular surface. The cortical plate changed in curvature with age at multiple sites of primary sulcal formation. Reduced cortical folding was detected near the parieto-occipital sulcus in IMVM subjects. While tissue volume appears to be preserved in brains with IMVM, cortical folding may be affected in regions where ventricles are dilated.