Ultrasound evaluation of fetal brain dysfunction based on behavioral patterns

Seiichi Morokuma, Kotaro Fukushima, Yuka Otera, Yasuo Yumoto, Kiyomi Tsukimori, Masayuki Ochiai, Toshiro Hara, Norio Wake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


To identify fetuses at high risk of poor neurological outcomes using a novel ultrasound evaluation system. We assessed an ultrasound evaluation system based on our previous findings, consisting of screening for decreased or lack of fetal movements, abnormal patterns of fetal heart rate, congenital CNS malformations, polyhydramnios of unknown cause, and a " brief ultrasound evaluation" of fetal brain functions, including movement of extremities, breathing movements, ultradian rhythm, REM period, and NREM period. We then assessed the correlation between fetal brain functions and neurological outcomes in infancy (MR, CP, and low Developmental Quotient). During screening, we prospectively evaluated 4978 fetuses receiving prenatal and intrapartum management between January 2000 and December 2009 in our hospital that were later delivered between 32 and 41. weeks' gestation and identified 93 cases as suspicious for impairment. Of the 93 fetuses, 26 underwent the second step of brief ultrasound examination at 35-40. weeks' gestation. Our findings revealed that this method was adequately sensitive (80%) and specific (88%) in identifying neurological impairment. We concluded that this method was mainly useful in the clinical setting for establishing the first indication for fetal CNS examination for functional impairment, rendering it suitable for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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