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Mammillary body injury in neonatal encephalopathy: a multicentre, retrospective study

Lequin, Maarten H., Steggerda, Sylke J., Severino, Mariasaavina, Tortora, Domenico, Parodi, Alessandro, Ramenghi, Luca A., Groenendaal, Floris, Meys, Karlijn M. E., Benders, Manon J. N. L., de Vries, Linda S. and Vann, Seralynne D. 2021. Mammillary body injury in neonatal encephalopathy: a multicentre, retrospective study. Pediatric Research 10.1038/s41390-021-01436-3

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Background The mammillary bodies (MBs) have repeatedly been shown to be critical for memory, yet little is known about their involvement in numerous neurological conditions linked to memory impairments, including neonatal encephalopathy. Methods We implemented a multicentre retrospective study, assessing magnetic resonance scans of 219 infants with neonatal encephalopathy who had undergone hypothermia treatment in neonatal intensive care units located in the Netherlands and Italy. Results Abnormal MB signal was observed in ~40% of infants scanned; in half of these cases, the brain appeared otherwise normal. MB involvement was not related to the severity of encephalopathy or the pattern/severity of hypoxic–ischaemic brain injury. Follow-up scans were available for 18 cases with abnormal MB signal; in eight of these cases, the MBs appeared severely atrophic. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of assessing the status of the MBs in neonatal encephalopathy; this may require changes to scanning protocols to ensure that the slices are sufficiently thin to capture the MBs. Furthermore, long-term follow-up of infants with abnormal MB signal is needed to determine the effects on cognition, which may enable the use of early intervention strategies. Further research is needed to assess the role of therapeutic hypothermia in MB involvement in neonatal encephalopathy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0031-3998
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2021
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 10:28

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