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Ultrasonography. 2016 Jul;35(3):258-64. doi: 10.14366/usg.16013. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Brain ultrasonographic findings of late-onset circulatory dysfunction due to adrenal insufficiency in preterm infants.

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1
Department of Radiology, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to characterize the brain ultrasonographic findings of late-onset circulatory dysfunction (LCD) due to adrenal insufficiency (AI) in preterm infants.

METHODS:

Among the 257 preterm infants born at <33 weeks of gestation between December 2009 and February 2014 at our institution, 35 preterm infants were diagnosed with AI. Brain ultrasonographic findings were retrospectively analyzed before and after LCD in 14 preterm infants, after exclusion of the other 21 infants with AI due to the following causes: death (n=2), early AI (n=5), sepsis (n=1), and patent ductus arteriosus (n=13).

RESULTS:

Fourteen of 257 infants (5.4%) were diagnosed with LCD due to AI. The age at LCD was a median of 18.5 days (range, 9 to 32 days). The last ultrasonographic findings before LCD occurred showed grade 1 periventricular echogenicity (PVE) in all 14 patients and germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH) with focal cystic change in one patient. Ultrasonographic findings after LCD demonstrated no significant change in grade 1 PVE and no new lesions in eight (57%), grade 1 PVE with newly appearing GMH in three (21%), and increased PVE in three (21%) infants. Five infants (36%) showed new development (n=4) or increased size (n=1) of GMH. Two of three infants (14%) with increased PVE developed cystic periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and rapid progression to macrocystic encephalomalacia.

CONCLUSION:

LCD due to AI may be associated with the late development of GMH, increased PVE after LCD, and cystic PVL with rapid progression to macrocystic encephalomalacia.

KEYWORDS:

Adrenal insufficiency; Brain; Infant; Premature; Ultrasonography

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