In this study, the influence of prematurity on echogenicity of deep gray matter at 30-wk corrected age was assessed using ultrasound measurements. In an observational cohort study, ultrasound scans of 224 extremely preterm infants were prospectively collected. Gray values were assessed in putamen and globus pallidus. Intra- and inter-observer reliability was analyzed and showed excellent agreement. The globus pallidus to putamen ratio was significantly related to gestational age at birth, adjusted regression coefficient in points per wk: 1.28 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.38-2.19) for left and 2.12 (95% CI: 1.23-3.02) for right-side images. At 30-wk corrected age this was still the case, adjusted regression coefficient: 0.45 (95% CI: -0.57 to 1.47) for left and 1.29 (95% CI: 0.10-2.48) for right. The putamen is more hyperechoic with lower gestational age. Measuring ultrasound gray values in deep gray matter seems highly reproducible. Prematurity shows a negative correlation with echogenicity of the putamen, this persists at 30-wk corrected age, suggesting altered maturation.

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Keywords Cerebral ultrasound, Echogenicity, Globus pallidus, Prematurity, Preterm birth, Putamen
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Journal Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
de Goederen, R. (Robbin), Raets, M.M.A, Ecury-Goossen, G.M, de Jonge, R.C.J, Ramenghi, L, Koning, I.V, … Dudink, J. (2017). Effect of Preterm Birth on Echogenicity in Basal Ganglia. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2017.06.017