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Article |

Developmental Outcome of Preterm Infants With Transient Neuromotor Abnormalities

Diane B. D'Eugenio, MA, OTR; Terri A. Slagle, MD; Barbara B. Mettelman, MA; StevenJ. Gross, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(5):570-574. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160290076030.
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• Objective.  —To determine the relationship between transiently abnormal neurologic findings in preterm infants and subsequent cognitive outcome at 4 years of age.

Design.  —Prospective 4-year follow-up.

Setting.  —Regional perinatal center in Syracuse, NY.

Participants.  —One hundred thirty-one of 135 consecutively born infants of no more than 32 weeks of gestational age; 98% followed up from birth to 4 years of age.

Interventions.  —None.

Measurements and Main Results.  —Based on neuromotor evaluations performed at 6 and 15 months of age, two groups of infants were identified. One group had abnormal neurologic findings at 6 months of age that had resolved by 15 months of age (transiently abnormal group). The other group had normal neuromotor findings at both 6 and 15 months of age (normal group). The transiently abnormal group had significantly poorer scores on the Bayley Mental scale at 6 months of age 90±15 vs 108±10; P<.001), 15 months (91±21 vs 105±12; P<.001), and 24 months (91 ±19 vs 101 ±17; P<.001). However, at 4 years of age, cognitive performance on the McCarthy Scales was similar for the transiently abnormal and normal groups (General Cognitive index, 93±13 and 95±14, respectively). The incidence of poor cognitive outcome (Cognitive index <84) decreased from 39% at 2 years of age to 18% at 4 years of age in the group with a history of transient neurologic abnormalities but remained unchanged (16% to 18%) in the normal group.

Conclusion.  —Early neurologic abnormalities that are transient did not predict cognitive delays at 4 years of age in preterm infants.(AJDC. 1993;147:570-574)

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