Introduction We studied Punctate Lesions detected by cerebral Magnetic Resonance (MR) in a large group of preterm infants recruited to the Evaluation of Preterm Imaging Programme (ePrime).
Methods We studied 511 of 2133 eligible infants cared for in 13 neonatal units including 5 Perinatal Centre. 254 were male and 84 from multiple pregnancies. Median (range) gestational age (GA) was 30 (23–32) weeks and birthweight 1270 (552–3160) g. T1 and T2 weighted MR images were obtained at 38–44 weeks GA in 479 and 44–60 weeks GA in 32 infants, and reported using conventional diagnostic criteria.
Results Neuroradiological analysis detected punctate lesions in 98 infants (19%), of whom 42 (8%) had more than 20 lesions. Preliminary analysis found no relation with more extreme prematurity, multiple pregnancy, birthweight, surfactant or antenatal steroid therapy, length of respiratory support or treatment for patent ductus arteriosus. No punctate lesions were reported on contemporaneous cranial ultrasonography, and 87/98 of those scans were reported as normal.
Conclusions Punctate lesions are common, of unclear aetiology, and not detected by ultrasonography.