Preterm infants show a decreased tortuosity in all proximal segments of the cerebral vasculature at term-equivalent age (TEA).
Recently MRI techniques were developed to measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) based on phase-contrast images.
We hypothesized that arterial CBF corrected for brain size differs between full-term and preterm infants at TEA.
344 infants without major brain abnormalities had a cranial MRI for clinical reasons including phase-contrast magnetic resonance angiography (PC-MRA) around TEA (mean 41.1 ± SD 1.2 weeks).
This cohort consisted of 172 preterm infants (gestational age at birth 24.1–31.9 weeks) and 172 term-born infants (gestational age at birth 37.0–42.6 weeks).
The total CBF in milliliters/minute was calculated by adding the blood flow of the carotid and basilar arteries, and compared to age at scan, body weight, and several parameters of estimated brain size.