Ultrasound evaluation of cortical brain development in fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction

Caterina Businelli, Charlotte De Wit, Gerard H A Visser, Lourens R. Pistorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We evaluated the ultrasound appearance of brain volume and cortical development in fetuses with early growth restriction and placental insufficiency. Methods: We examined a cohort of 20 fetuses with severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and evidence of placental insufficiency by three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound between 24 and 34 weeks. We graded cortical development and measured the supratentorial intracranial volume. The cortical grading and volume were compared to data obtained from a reference population of 28 adequate for gestational age (AGA) fetuses. Results: Ultrasound examinations were performed in 20 fetuses with IUGR. The biometry and brain volume were significantly reduced in IUGR fetuses. There was evidence of accelerated cortical development in IUGR fetuses. Conclusion: This study confirms that the smaller brain volume in IUGR fetuses, with normal or accelerated cortical maturation as previously depicted with postnatal MRI examination, can be demonstrated by prenatal 3D ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1307
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2015


  • Brain
  • cerebral cortex
  • fetal growth restriction
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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