Reduced Hippocampal Volumes in Children with History of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy after Therapeutic Hypothermia

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Abstract

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) remains a significant cause of disability despite treatment with therapeutic hypothermia (TH). Many survive with more subtle deficits that affect daily functioning and school performance. We have previously shown an early indication of hippocampal changes in infants with HIE despite TH. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hippocampal volume via MRI and memory function at 5 years of age. A cohort of children followed from birth returned for a 5-year follow-up (n = 10 HIE treated with TH, n = 8 healthy controls). The children underwent brain MRI and neurodevelopmental testing to assess their brain volume, general development, and memory function. Children with HIE had smaller hippocampal volumes than the controls despite no differences in the total brain volume (p = 0.02). Children with HIE generally scored within the average range on developmental testing. Though there was no difference in the memory scores between these groups, there was a positive within-group correlation between the hippocampal volume and memory scores in children with HIE (sentence recall r = 0.66, p = 0.038). There was no relationship between newborn memory function and 5-year hippocampal size. Children with HIE treated with TH experienced significant and lasting changes to the hippocampus despite improvements in survival and severe disability. Future studies should target diminishing injury to the hippocampus to improve overall outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1005
JournalChildren
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • MRI
  • hippocampus
  • hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
  • memory function
  • neurodevelopment

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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