Fetal Neurology is covered in this issue of Clinics in Perinatology, guest edited by Dr. Adre du Plessis. The genetic basis of normal brain development and its disorders is explored, including reviews on the prosencephalon, the cerebral cortex, and the cerebellum. Next, normal and abnormal circulatory support of the fetal brain is covered, with articles on normal fetal cerebral substrate supply, disorders of placental circulation and the fetal brain, and disorders of fetal circulation and the fetal brain. Toxic-metabolic causes of disturbed brain development is reviewed, including articles on primary disorders of metabolism and disturbed fetal brain development and maternal drug abuse and impaired fetal brain development. Next, a section on infectious-inflammatory causes of disturbed brain development includes articles on fetal viral infections and impaired brain development and fetal inflammation and impaired brain development. A section on disorders of labor and delivery covers fetal hypoxia insults and patterns of brain injury, the fetal heart rate response to hypoxia, and non-asphyxial hypoxic-ischemic brain injury during prolonged labor. The issue closes with a section on advances in fetal neurodiagnostic testing, including reviews on imaging the fetal brain, quantitative fetal heart rate techniques, and fetal magnetoencephalography for assessment of fetal neurologic function.
By Adre J du Plessis, MB, ChB, The Fetal Medicine Institute, Children's National Health System, Washington, Distric of Columbia