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Pediatr Neurol. 1997 Oct;17(3):240-8.

Neurodevelopmental outcome in very low birth weight infants at 24 months and 5 to 7 years of age: changing diagnosis.

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Department of Child Neuropsychiatry, IRCCS C. Mondino Foundation, University of Pavia, Italy.


We describe the long-term development of 53 very low birth weight premature infants. The children were divided into 2 groups on the basis of ultrasound scan, and classified as: group I, patients with normal ultrasound scan or with uncomplicated hemorrhage; and group II, patients with complicated hemorrhage or only parenchymal lesions. Minor and major sequelae detected at 2 years of age were compared with those observed at 5 to 7 years. Our study confirms that most severely handicapped children are identified by age 2 years. Minor sequelae are more evident at 5 to 7 years and subjects with good outcome, as expressed by a McCarthy General Cognitive Index score > 80, present a discordant cognitive profile with verbal scores higher than performance scores. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of follow-up of very low birth weight premature infants until school age and stress that neonatal ultrasound scan diagnosis of parenchymal damage represents an important diagnostic tool in terms of both short- and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome.

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