The influence of fetal growth restriction and infection on the cerebral metabolic response to acute hypoxia
Intrauterine growth restriction and infection are significant risk factors for neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in term neonates. It was hypothesised that these two factors increase the susceptibility of the fetal brain to hypoxic ischaemic damage by their influence on cerebral metabolism and development. Cerebral energy and structural metabolites in a late gestation in-ovo chick embryo model of acute hypoxia and fetal growth restriction were measured non invasive using proton and phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. The influence of fetal growth restriction and acute hypoxia on cerebral metabolites was assessed. In addition, the individual and combined effects of growth restriction, acute hypoxia and systemic infection on morphological markers of neuronal injury were assessed.