Deep cerebral venous abnormalities in premature babies with GMH-IVH: a single-centre retrospective study

Purpose Germinal matrix haemorrhage/intraventricular haemorrhage (GMH-IVH) is a multifactorial injury with both anatomic and haemodynamic involvement. Normal variants in preterm deep cerebral venous anatomy associated with GMH-IVH have been previously described using MRI susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI). The aims of this study were to use SWI to compare the deep venous systems of a cohort of preterm neonates with various grades of GMH-IVH to a group of age-matched controls without GMH-IVH and to present novel retrospective SWI imaging findings. Methods A neuroradiologist retrospectively evaluated 3T MRI SWI and phase imaging of 56 preterm neonates with GMH-IVH (14 of each grade) and 27 controls without GMH-IVH, scoring the venous irregularities according to three variables: decreased venous patency, increased lumen susceptibility and the presence of collaterals. Eight different venous locations, including indicated bilateral components, were evaluated: straight sinus, vein of galen, internal cerebral, direct lateral, thalamostriate, atrial and the anterior septal veins. Variables were analysed for statistical significance. Inter-rater reliability was determined via subset evaluation by a second paediatric radiologist. Results Deep venous abnormalities were significantly more common in patients with GMH-IVH, with Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test demonstrating significant increase with GMH-IVH for total decreased venous patency (W=0, p<0.0001), increased lumen susceptibility and collateral formation. Venous abnormalities were also positively correlated with an increase in GMH-IVH grade from I to IV (patency, ρ=0.782, p<0.01) (increased lumen susceptibility, ρ=0.739, p<0.01) (collaterals, ρ=0.649, p<0.01), not just GMH-IVH alone. Conclusion Deep venous abnormalities are significantly correlated with GMH-IVH alone and an increase in GMH-IVH grade. Further study is needed to determine cause and effect.
Funding Information
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (T35HL007489)
  • National Institutes of Health (R01HD105055-01A1)

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