Associations of Growth and Body Composition with Brain Size in Preterm Infants

Katherine A. Bell, Lillian G. Matthews, Sara Cherkerzian, Caroline Palmer, Kaitlin Drouin, Hunter L. Pepin, Deirdre Ellard, Terrie E. Inder, Sara E Ramel, Mandy B. Belfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To assess the association of very preterm infants' brain size at term-equivalent age with physical growth from birth to term and body composition at term. Study design: We studied 62 infants born at <33 weeks of gestation. At birth and term, we measured weight and length and calculated body mass index. At term, infants underwent air displacement plethysmography to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass) and magnetic resonance imaging to quantify brain size (bifrontal diameter, biparietal diameter, transverse cerebellar distance). We estimated associations of physical growth (Z-score change from birth to term) and body composition with brain size, adjusting for potential confounders using generalized estimating equations. Results: The median gestational age was 29 weeks (range, 24.0-32.9 weeks). Positive gains in weight and body mass index Z-score were associated with increased brain size. Each additional 100 g of fat-free mass at term was associated with larger bifrontal diameter (0.6 mm; 95% CI, 0.2-1.0 mm), biparietal diameter (0.7 mm; 95% CI, 0.3-1.1 mm), and transverse cerebellar distance (0.3 mm; 95% CI, 0.003-0.5 mm). Associations between fat mass and brain metrics were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Weight and body mass index gain from birth to term, and lean mass—but not fat—at term, were associated with larger brain size. Factors that promote lean mass accrual among preterm infants may also promote brain growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Body Composition
Premature Infants
Brain
Growth
Fats
Parturition
Body Mass Index
Weights and Measures
Plethysmography
Gestational Age
Weight Gain
Air
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • air displacement plethysmography
  • body composition
  • brain metrics
  • preterm

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

Bell, K. A., Matthews, L. G., Cherkerzian, S., Palmer, C., Drouin, K., Pepin, H. L., ... Belfort, M. B. (2019). Associations of Growth and Body Composition with Brain Size in Preterm Infants. Journal of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.06.062

Associations of Growth and Body Composition with Brain Size in Preterm Infants. / Bell, Katherine A.; Matthews, Lillian G.; Cherkerzian, Sara; Palmer, Caroline; Drouin, Kaitlin; Pepin, Hunter L.; Ellard, Deirdre; Inder, Terrie E.; Ramel, Sara E; Belfort, Mandy B.

In: Journal of Pediatrics, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bell, KA, Matthews, LG, Cherkerzian, S, Palmer, C, Drouin, K, Pepin, HL, Ellard, D, Inder, TE, Ramel, SE & Belfort, MB 2019, 'Associations of Growth and Body Composition with Brain Size in Preterm Infants', Journal of Pediatrics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.06.062
Bell, Katherine A. ; Matthews, Lillian G. ; Cherkerzian, Sara ; Palmer, Caroline ; Drouin, Kaitlin ; Pepin, Hunter L. ; Ellard, Deirdre ; Inder, Terrie E. ; Ramel, Sara E ; Belfort, Mandy B. / Associations of Growth and Body Composition with Brain Size in Preterm Infants. In: Journal of Pediatrics. 2019.
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