Very low birth weight (n = 154) and term infants (n = 119) had neurologic and developmental assessment at 6 and 12 months of age. Preterm infants with severe neonatal complications were considered to be at high risk, and those with milder complications were considered to be at low risk, for neurodevelopmental abnormality. Compared to term infants, high- and low-risk infants had abnormalities at 6 months in total neurologic score, cranial nerves, motor tone, motor coordination, and reflexes (P < .001). At 12 months, all groups had improved. However, high-risk infants had persistent abnormalities in the same subcategories (P < .001), whereas low-risk infants differed from term infants only in motor tone (P < .001). Bayley developmental scores were different for all groups at 6 months (P < .001), but at 12 months only high-risk infants differed from term infants (P < .01). These results demonstrate improvement in neurologic and developmental scores over time in very low birth weight infants. The degree of neurodevelopmental abnormality and improvement over time is related to severity of neonatal complications in preterm infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology