Preterm infants with isolated cerebellar hemorrhage show bilateral cortical alterations at term equivalent age

Aicha B. C. Dijkshoorn, Elise Turk, Lisa M. Hortensius, Niek E. van der Aa, Freek E. Hoebeek, Floris Groenendaal, Manon J. N. L. Benders, Jeroen Dudink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The cerebellum is connected to numerous regions of the contralateral side of the cerebrum. Motor and cognitive deficits following neonatal cerebellar hemorrhages (CbH) in extremely preterm neonates may be related to remote cortical alterations, following disrupted cerebello-cerebral connectivity as was previously shown within six CbH infants. In this retrospective case series study, we used MRI and advanced surface-based analyses to reconstruct gray matter (GM) changes in cortical thickness and cortical surface area in extremely preterm neonates (median age = 26; range: 24.9-26.7 gestational weeks) with large isolated unilateral CbH (N = 5 patients). Each CbH infant was matched with their own preterm infant cohort (range: 20-36 infants) based on sex and gestational age at birth. On a macro level, our data revealed that the contralateral cerebral hemisphere of CbH neonates did not show less cortical thickness or cortical surface area than their ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere at term. None of the cases differed from their matched cohort groups in average cortical thickness or average cortical surface area in the ipsilateral or contralateral cerebral hemisphere. On a micro (i.e. vertex) level, we established high variability in significant local cortical GM alteration patterns across case-cohort groups, in which the cases showed thicker or bigger volume in some regions, among which the caudal middle frontal gyrus, insula and parahippocampal gyrus, and thinner or less volume in other regions, among which the cuneus, precuneus and supratentorial gyrus. This study highlights that cerebellar injury during postnatal stages may have widespread bilateral influence on the early maturation of cerebral cortical regions, which implicate complex cerebello-cerebral interactions to be present at term birth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5283
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes




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