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Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Jun;40(6):413-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2009.01.008.

Prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome after preterm birth.

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1
Growth and Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Bea.Latal@kispi.uzh.ch

Abstract

Prediction of outcome after preterm birth is critical, but remains difficult, particularly in the early postnatal period. The ability to predict outcome improves parental counseling and selection of infants for early therapeutic strategies aiming at preventing or ameliorating cerebral injury. This review gives an overview of the spectrum and severity of neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and psychosocial outcomes, with discussion of predictors of outcome and, in particular, the clinical, electrophysiological, and imaging predictors. A detailed neurologic examination of infants is a valuable predictive tool in terms of later moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairments; however, it may be limited in the immediate newborn period. Electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and clinical risk factors for adverse neurodevelopmental outcome have been identified. Good prediction is usually achieved for major functional disabilities in early childhood, but is poorer for moderate or mild long-term outcome. Future research should focus on the long-term quality of life, academic achievement, and the influence of the sociocultural environment. More emphasis should be placed on genetic diversity as a modifying factor for the large variability in outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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