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Early Hum Dev. 2012 Jun;88(6):393-6. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.10.002. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Poor repertoire General Movements predict some aspects of development outcome at 2 years in very preterm infants.

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Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, S. Croce and Carle Hospital, Cuneo, Italy.



Observation of the quality of endogenously generated "General Movements" has been proved to be a reliable and sensitive tool in the assessment of fragile neonates. The absence of fidgety movements at 2-4 months post-term is highly predictive of Cerebral Palsy. On the contrary, the presence of a poor repertoire pattern during the writhing period is not reliable in predicting motor or neurobehavioral disorders at any stage of development.


To examine if the presence of a PR pattern at 1 month post-term was associated with lower neurodevelopmental quotients at 2 years.


General Movements evaluation at 1 and 3 months and the Griffiths Scales of Mental Development at 2 years were administered to a sample of very preterm infants. Infants were divided into two groups: poor repertoire pattern group and normal pattern group. Student's t Test and Chi squared test and ANOVA were used to compare neonatal variables and results between the two groups.


79 very preterm infants (birthweight≤1500 g or gestational age≤32 weeks), born January 2003 to December 2006 who had a follow-up at 2 years.


Griffiths developmental quotient at 2 years.


The Poor Repertoire group had lower Gestational Age, lower Birth Weight, lower Apgar scores at birth and lower Developmental Quotient at 2 years. Eye and Hand Coordination (subscale D) was the domain mostly responsible for such a difference. Quality of fidgety movements (normal or abnormal fidgety) at 3 months did not show any correlation with outcome measures at 2 years.


The presence of a PR pattern at 1 month post-term seems to predict lower neurodevelopmental scores at 2 years especially in the domain of eye and hand coordination. Longer follow-up is necessary in order to ascertain if such difference will continue to persist at older ages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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