Ventricular configuration and cerebral growth in infants born to drug-dependent mothers
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Cranial ultrasound examinations were performed during the first 3 days of life and at age 1 month on 22 infants with the neonatal abstinence syndrome. The results were compared to those obtained in 15 control infants who were not exposed to narcotic drugsin utero. The ultrasound images were examined for ventricular configuration, intracranial hemidiameters, area of thalami, and width of temporal lobes. At 24 to 72 h and at 1 month of age, significantly more drug-exposed than control infants had a slit-like ventricular configuration. The intracranial hemidiameter was significantly smaller in the drug-exposed than in the control infants. All cerebral measurements except the right temporal lobe demonstrated significant growth over the first month of life in both groups of infants. By means of ancillary examinations (computerized tomography and transfontanel pressure measurements) the pathogenesis of the slit-like ventricles was found not to be related to edema or to increased intracranial pressure. Whether or not the ventricles remain small and brain growth remains parallel after the period of abstinence awaits further investigation.
KeywordsPublic Health Computerize Tomography Temporal Lobe Pressure Measurement Intracranial Pressure
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