Direct injury to the corpus callosum (CC) due to neurosurgical interventions in infants with posthemorrhagic ventricular dilatation (PHVD) has not been reported in the literature. The authors observed a subset of infants who had suffered penetrating CC injury after neurosurgical interventions for PHVD and hypothesized that this pattern of injury may result in suboptimal CC maturation and neurodevelopmental impairment.
In this multicenter, retrospective, observational study, 100 preterm and 17 full-term infants with PHVD were included and compared with 23 preterm controls. Both neonatal and postneonatal brain MRI scans were assessed for injury, and measurements were performed on postneonatal MRI scans at 2 years’ corrected age. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at 2 years’ corrected age.
A total of 269 brain MRI scans of 140 infants were included. Of infants with PHVD, 48 (41%) had penetrating CC injury following neurosurgical interventions. The median (IQR) CC midsagittal surface area was smaller in infants with CC injury when compared with infants with PHVD who had intact CC and controls (190 mm [149–262 mm] vs 268 mm [206–318 mm] vs 289 mm [246–320 mm], respectively; p < 0.001). In the univariate analysis, the area of the CC was associated with cognitive Z score (coefficient 0.009 [95% CI 0.005–0.012], p < 0.001) and motor Z score (coefficient 0.009 [95% CI 0.006–0.012], p < 0.001). In the multivariable model, CC injury was not independently associated with cognitive and motor Z score after adjusting for gestational age and presence of periventricular hemorrhagic infarction (coefficient 0.04 [95% CI −0.36 to 0.46] and −0.37 [95% CI −0.83 to 0.09], p = 0.7 and 0.1, respectively).
CC injury was not uncommon following neurosurgical interventions for PHVD in both preterm and full-term infants. At the age of 2 years, the CC midsagittal surface area was smaller in infants with injury, but CC injury was not independently associated with cognitive and motor outcomes at 2 years’ corrected age.