Fetal Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings Predict Neurodevelopment in Children with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

EPISTOP consortium


Journal of Pediatrics 233 p. 156-162.e2


Objective: To correlate fetal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings with epilepsy characteristics and neurodevelopment at 2 years of age in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) to improve prenatal counseling. Study design: This retrospective cohort study was performed in a collaboration between centers of the EPISTOP consortium. We included children with definite TSC, fetal MRIs, and available follow-up data at 2 years of age. A pediatric neuroradiologist masked to the patient's clinical characteristics evaluated all fetal MRIs. MRIs were categorized for each of the 10 brain lobes as score 0: no (sub)cortical lesions or doubt; score 1: a single small lesion; score 2: more than one small lesion or at least one large lesion (>5 mm). Neurologic manifestations were correlated to lesion sum scores. Results: Forty-one children were included. Median gestational age at MRI was 33.3 weeks; (sub)cortical lesions were detected in 97.6%. Mean lesion sum score was 4.5. At 2 years, 58.5% of patients had epilepsy and 22% had drug-resistant epilepsy. Cognitive, language, and motor development were delayed in 38%, 81%, and 50% of patients, respectively. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was diagnosed in 20.5%. Fetal MRI lesion sum scores were significantly associated with cognitive and motor development, and with ASD diagnosis, but not with epilepsy characteristics. Conclusions: Fetal cerebral lesion scores correlate with neurodevelopment and ASD at 2 years in children with TSC.