Background: Neuromonitoring at the bedside is the key to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of brain injury associated with neonatal encephalopathy. The current practice is to monitor the forehead using a noninvasive cerebral oximetry—it remains unknown to what extent cerebral hemodynamics in other brain regions is different to the frontal region. Method: A multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system was used to monitor neonates (n = 14) with fetal acidosis and mild neonatal encephalopathy at four brain regions (the frontal, posterior, left temporal, and right temporal lobes). The data were compared to delineate the regional difference in (1) cerebral hemodynamics and (2) pressure autoregulation. For both analyses, wavelet transform coherence was applied. Results: We observed frontal–posterior heterogeneity as indicated by significantly lower coherence between these two regions (p = 0.02). Furthermore, areas with regional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected lesions showed greater hemodynamic variations compared to non-affected areas (p = 0.03), while cerebral autoregulation was not affected and showed no difference. Conclusion: Cerebral hemodynamics in mild neonatal encephalopathy is heterogeneous across different brain regions, while cerebral autoregulation remains intact. These findings indicate the robustness of the wavelet measure of cerebral autoregulation in this population, but need to be further investigated in the presence of severe injury. Impact: This proof-of-concept study is the first to investigate the regional difference of cerebral hemodynamics and autoregulation in mild neonatal encephalopathy.Study findings confirm that brain functions are complex in the developing neonatal brain and that cerebral hemodynamics are region specific in newborns with frontal–posterior heterogeneity among brain regions probed by multichannel NIRS.Regional MRI lesions were associated with differences across NIRS regional channels among the affected side.Cerebral autoregulation with multichannel NIRS is not affected by regional MRI abnormalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health