Nav: Home

3D images reveal how infants' heads change shape during birth

May 15, 2019

Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), scientists have captured 3D images that show how infants' brains and skulls change shape as they move through the birth canal just before delivery. Olivier Ami of Auvergne University in Clermont Ferrand, France, and colleagues present these findings in the open access journal PLOS ONE on May 15, 2019.

Doctors have long known that infants' heads change shape during birth. Termed "fetal head molding," these changes occur during the second stage of labor, when the baby leaves the uterus and moves through the birth canal. However, the details of fetal head molding remain unclear, and only one prior study has captured images of this process.

In the new study, Ami and colleagues used 3D MRI to capture detailed images of seven infants' skulls and brains before and during the second stage of labor. The analysis revealed fetal head molding during the second stage of labor in all seven infants, with different parts of the skull overlapping to varying degrees among the infants. After birth, five of the newborns' skull and brain shapes returned to their pre-birth state, but the changes persisted in two of the infants. Two of the three infants with the greatest degree of fetal head molding were delivered by emergency C-section, but the third was delivered vaginally with minimal expulsive efforts.

Overall, the findings suggest that infants experience greater skull stresses during birth than previously thought, potentially underlying the asymptomatic brain and retinal bleeding seen in many newborns after vaginal delivery. The authors note that a larger study is needed to confirm their findings, but that their work demonstrates the value of 3D MRI in capturing fetal head molding.

Ami adds: "During vaginal delivery, the fetal brain shape undergoes deformation to varying degrees depending on the degree of overlap of the skull bones. Fetal skull molding is no more visible in most newborns after birth. Some skulls accept the deformation (compliance) and allow an easy delivery, while others do not deform easily (non-compliance)."
-end-
Citation: Ami O, Maran J-C, Gabor P, Whitacre EB, Musset D, Dubray C, et al. (2019) Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of fetal head molding and brain shape changes during the second stage of labor. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0215721. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215721

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215721

PLOS

Related Magnetic Resonance Imaging Articles:

Fatty liver diagnosis improved with magnetic resonance
Taking tissue samples from the liver to diagnose fatty liver can be replaced in most cases by a painless magnetic resonance investigation.
Manipulating magnetic textures
While the ability to easily control the magnetic properties of small electronic systems is highly desirable for future small electronics and data storage, an effective solution has proven to be extremely elusive.
Magnetic fields at the crossroads
Almost all information that exists in contemporary society is recorded in magnetic media, like hard drive disks.
Three magnetic states for each hole
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for Computing.
Perspectives on magnetic reconnection
Article describes latest research on magnetic reconnection.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging to predict the salt content of Iberian ham
The University of Extremadura have developed a non-destructive, innocuous method using magnetic resonance, computer vision and statistical calculus that enables one to quantify the salt content of Iberian ham, and classify it according to the degree of penetration of the salt in the muscle.
Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance
Researchers from Institute of Physics of Kazan Federal University, Institute of Perspective Research Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, and Nanoscience Department of Institut Neel conducted an investigation of various thermally treated wood species from the Central European part of Russia by magnetic resonance methods and revealed important changes in wood structure which were not available for observation by other methods.
Stochastic resonance, chaos transfer shown in an optomechanical microresonator
Researchers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St.
Peacock tail feathers shake at resonance and hold eyespots still during courtship displays
As male peacocks shake their long feathers in courtship, the iridescent eyespots remain nearly stationary and captivate females, according a study published April 27, 2016, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Advanced magnetic resonance imaging technology to track cells in the body
The need to non-invasively see and track cells in living persons is indisputable.

Related Magnetic Resonance Imaging Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...