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Acta Paediatr. 2013 Sep;102(9):883-8. doi: 10.1111/apa.12319. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Poor postnatal head growth in very preterm infants is associated with impaired neurodevelopment outcome.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics II, Neonatology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria. Vera.Neubauer@i-med.ac.at

Abstract

AIM:

To examine the association between neurodevelopmental outcome and head circumference (HC) in a cohort of very preterm infants and in this context to investigate the relevance of suboptimal head size.

METHODS:

Somatometric data were obtained at birth, discharge and 3, 12 and 24 months for all infants born in Tyrol <32 weeks gestational age. Growth data are presented as z scores. HC was defined as microcephaly (>2 SD below mean), suboptimal (>1 SD below mean) or normal head size (<1 SD below mean). Neurodevelopmental outcome was quantified at 12 and 24 months using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II.

RESULTS:

The percentage of infants with suboptimal head size increased until the age of 24 months and was related to adverse outcome. The association was strongest between HC at 3 months and psychomotor and mental outcome as quantified using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

CONCLUSION:

Poor postnatal head growth was common in our study cohort. Both microcephaly and suboptimal head size were associated with impaired neurodevelopmental outcome. Suboptimal head size at 3 months was found to be particularly associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcome.

KEYWORDS:

Head growth; Neurodevelopment; Postnatal growth; Preterm

PMID:
23772884
DOI:
10.1111/apa.12319
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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