Increased notching of the corpus callosum in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: A callosal misunderstanding?

E. Schneble, C. Lack, M. Zapadka, C. M. Pfeifer, D. M.E. Bardo, J. Cagley, J. Acharya, A. P. Klein, M. Balla, J. T. Obayashi, D. Ross, D. R. Pettersson, J. M. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the medicolegal literature, notching of the corpus callosum has been reported to be associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Our purpose was to analyze the prevalence of notching of the corpus callosum in a fetal alcohol spectrum disorders group and a healthy population to determine whether notching occurs with increased frequency in the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders population. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a multicenter search for cases of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and included all patients who had a sagittal T1-weighted brain MR imaging. Patients with concomitant intracranial pathology were excluded. The corpus callosum was examined for notches using previously published methods. A x 2 test was used to compare the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and healthy groups. RESULTS: Thirty-three of 59 patients with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (0–44 years of age) identified across all centers had corpus callosum notching. Of these, 8 had an anterior corpus callosum notch (prevalence, 13.6%), 23 had a posterior corpus callosum notch (prevalence, 39%), and 2 patients demonstrated undulated morphology (prevalence, 3.4%). In the healthy population, the anterior notch prevalence was 139/875 (15.8%), posterior notch prevalence was 378/875 (43.2%), and undulating prevalence was 37/875 (4.2%). There was no significant difference among the anterior (P ¼ .635), posterior (P ¼ .526), and undulating (P ¼ .755) notch prevalence in the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and healthy groups. CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant difference in notching of the corpus callosum between patients with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and the healthy population. Although reported to be a marker of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, notching of the corpus callosum should not be viewed as a specific finding associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-728
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Schneble, E., Lack, C., Zapadka, M., Pfeifer, C. M., Bardo, D. M. E., Cagley, J., Acharya, J., Klein, A. P., Balla, M., Obayashi, J. T., Ross, D., Pettersson, D. R., & Pollock, J. M. (2020). Increased notching of the corpus callosum in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: A callosal misunderstanding? American Journal of Neuroradiology, 41(4), 725-728. https://doi.org/10.3174/AJNR.A6475