Regional cortical volumes and congenital heart disease: a MRI study in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome
Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) who survive surgery often present impaired neurodevelopment and qualitative brain anomalies. However, the impact of CHD on total or regional brain volumes only received little attention. We address this question in a sample of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a neurogenetic condition frequently associated with CHD. Sixty-one children, adolescents, and young adults with confirmed 22q11.2 deletion were included, as well as 80 healthy participants matched for age and gender. Subsequent subdivision of the patients group according to CHD yielded a subgroup of 27 patients with normal cardiac status and a subgroup of 26 patients who underwent cardiac surgery during their first years of life (eight patients with unclear status were excluded). Regional cortical volumes were extracted using an automated method and the association between regional cortical volumes, and CHD was examined within a three-condition fixed factor. Robust protection against type I error used Bonferroni correction. Smaller total cerebral volumes were observed in patients with CHD compared to bo th patients without CHD and controls. The pattern of bilateral regional reductions associated with CHD encompassed the superior parietal region, the precuneus, the fusiform gyrus, and the anterior cingulate cortex. Within patients, a significant reduction in the left parahippocampal, the right middle temporal, and the left superior frontal gyri was associated with CHD. The present results of global and regional volumetric reductions suggest a role for disturbed hemodynamic in the pathophysiology of brain alterations in patients with neurodevelopmental disease and cardiac malformations.