A. Gover, D. Bader, M. Weinger-Abend, I. Chystiakov, E. Miller, A. Riskin, O. Hochwald, L. Beni-Adani, E. Tirosh and A. Kugelman
Background: The rate of brain abnormalities in asymptomatic term neonates varies substantially in previous studies. Some of these rates may justify general screening of healthy newborns by head ultrasound.
Objectives: To assess the incidence of intracranial abnormalities among asymptomatic term newborns with HUS and to detect high-risk populations that might need such screening.
Methods: This was a prospective study in 493 term newborns who underwent HUS and a neurological evaluation during the first 3 days of life. The neurological examination results were unknown to the sonographist and the examiner was blinded to the HUS findings. The abnormal HUS findings were classified as significant or non-significant according to the current literature.
Results: Abnormal HUS was found in 11.2% of the neonates. Significant findings were noted in 3.8% of the infants. There was no association between non-structural HUS findings (hemorrhage or echogenicity) and mode of delivery. There was no relationship between any HUS abnormality and birth weight, head circumference and maternal age, ethnicity, education or morbidity. The rate of abnormal neurological, hearing or vision evaluation in infants with a significant abnormal HUS (5.2%) was comparable to the rate in infants with normal or non-significant findings on HUS (3.1%).
Conclusions: There is no indication for routine HUS screening in apparently healthy term neonates due to the relatively low incidence of significant brain abnormalities in these infants in our population.