Introduction The incidence of hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) is estimated at approximately 0.4 to 6/1000 live births and deep neurological impairment or death in relation to perinatal asphyxia in developed countries at between 0.2 and 1.3/1000 live births. The aim of our study is to compare in term neonates with HIE the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) values in white matter (posterior limb of the internal capsule and cerebral peduncles) and basal ganglia and the neurological assessment at the end of the first week by using an Amiel–Tison score.
Materials and Methods Sixteen consecutive neonates were prospectively enrolled. We considered two groups of outcome regarding Amiel–Tison score at day 8. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) within the first 8 days of life. Selected regions of interest were posterior limb of internal capsule (PLIC), basal ganglia (BG) and cerebral peduncles (CP). DTI data were post-processed (quantification of the FA and ADC) by using the PRIDE fibre-tracking tool software (Philips).
Results DTI values in specific brain localisations between day 2 and day 8 are selectively correlated with early clinical outcome in babies with HIE.
Discussion and Conclusion Even if FA and ADC values provide limited information useful for determining specific pathological processes at the cellular level, our results may reflect different damage tissues either in PLIC and BG or in CP areas.