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Paediatr Child Health. 2006 May;11(5):278-82.

Follow-up of the term infant after hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, and Neonatal and Infant Follow-up Clinic, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta.


While the number of survivors of term hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is lower than the number of survivors of extreme prematurity, the proportion of neonates with long-term sequelae is higher. All neonates with Sarnat stages 2 (moderate) and 3 (severe) should be enrolled in follow-up programs. The present paper discusses the clinical and imaging diagnostic criteria for HIE, which are essential to decisions about follow-up. Prognostic indicators are also summarized. The recommendations for follow-up and intervention are based on the clinical condition of the baby at the time of discharge from intensive care, including an assessment of feeding, vision, hearing and whether seizures continue to be present. Early assessments (at four to eight months) focus on head growth, general health and motor neurodevelopment. Assessments at 12 to 24 months focus on cognitive skills and language development. Preschool assessments are also strongly recommended to provide for the identification of children requiring early education programs. Knowledge of long-term outcome and its secular changes enhance prognostication, and the evaluation of new preventive and therapeutic approaches.


Asphyxia; Follow-up; Outcome; Term infant


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