Erin A. O'Brien, MD

Clinical Fellow

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My current project involves a large multi-center collaborative study utilizing advanced neuroimaging techniques in fetuses with moderate-severe congenital heart disease to further characterize the nature of fetal brain maturation and potential mechanisms for alterations to normal brain development, specifically related to the prenatal environment and the role of the placenta. My investigations focus on understanding the influence of placental vascular abnormalities on brain development in fetuses with congenital heart disease. Planned future analyses of this cohort include integration of fetal magnetic resonance imaging, placental pathology, and neurodevelopmental outcomes to understand pathways and mediators of neurodevelopmental impairments. This cohort will also be leveraged to compare brain development and patterns of injury in fetuses with congenital heart disease and those born premature.