Zika Can Cause Multiple Other Brain Abnormalities Other Than Microcephaly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Fernanda Tovar Moll, MD, PhD Vice president of the D'Or Institute for Research and Education Professor,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dr. Fernanda Tovar-Moll

Fernanda Tovar Moll, MD, PhD
Vice president of the D’Or Institute for Research and Education
Professor,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The consequences of congenital zika virus infection are still under investigation. Recent studies suggest microcephaly as one of the consequences, but we wanted to go deeper in investigating what other kinds of neurological changes could happen in the developing central nervous system.

Based on that, we performed a cohort study with multimodal images exams and longitudinal follow up (pre and post natal analyses) of some cases.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The demonstration of changes’ patterns and severity. The research suggests cortical malformation, gray and white matter volume loss, brainstem abnormalities, calcifications, and a condition called ventriculomegaly, where the ventricles, or fluid filled spaces in the brain, are larger than normal. Regarding the calcifications, they were found at the grey – white matter junction, not as conspicuous as in other congenital infections.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: That the exposure to Zika virus can lead to other brain abnormalities than microcephaly.

In addition, that imaging is essential for identifying the presence and the severity of the morphological changes induced by the infection, especially in the developing central nervous system.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We are continuing to investigate the morphological CNS changes induced by congenital Zika virus infection. Correlating the morphological changes with clinical, immunological and environmental data, we would like to better understand the spectrum of the CNS changes we have seen. In addition, we are interest in investigating how congenital ZIKA virus infection can interfere with not only prenatal, but also postnatal gray and white brain maturation. We are now building a follow up study for the purpose.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


Patricia Soares de Oliveira-Szejnfeld, Deborah Levine, Adriana Suely de Oliveira Melo, Melania Maria Ramos Amorim, Alba Gean M. Batista, Leila Chimelli, Amilcar Tanuri, Renato Santana Aguiar, Gustavo Malinger, Renato Ximenes, Richard Robertson, Jacob Szejnfeld, Fernanda Tovar-Moll. Congenital Brain Abnormalities and Zika Virus: What the Radiologist Can Expect to See Prenatally and Postnatally. Radiology, 2016; 161584 DOI:10.1148/radiol.2016161584

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Last Updated on August 26, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD