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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 1998;2(1):7-17.

Neurodevelopmental profile in low-risk preterm infants at 5 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The goal of this study is to determine the neurodevelopmental profile of a group of low-risk preterm infants and to determine whether the potentially unfavourable outcome is due to a few infants with moderate to severe impairments or to a majority of infants with only slight impairments. In a prospective study 44 low-risk preterm infants, i.e. infants with a neonatal risk score indicating a favourable outcome, born between 25-34 weeks gestational age, and 18 healthy term infants were examined neurologically and tested neuropsychologically at 5 years of age. The more unfavourable outcome in the group of low-risk preterm infants compared with the term infants was largely attributable to a poorer outcome in 12 of the 44 low-risk preterm infants. The remaining low-risk preterm infants showed similar test scores compared with the term infants. From these results we conclude that the unfavourable neurodevelopmental outcome of low-risk preterm infants is due to moderate to severe impairment in a few low-risk preterm infants, rather than slight impairment in the majority. The low-risk preterm infants with an unfavourable outcome showed particular impairment on measures of visual-motor integration, concentration and auditory memory in combination with integrative functions.

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