—To determine the relationship between transiently abnormal neurologic findings in preterm infants and subsequent cognitive outcome at 4 years of age.
—Prospective 4-year follow-up.
—Regional perinatal center in Syracuse, NY.
—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.
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.
—Early neurologic abnormalities that are transient did not predict cognitive delays at 4 years of age in preterm infants.(AJDC. 1993;147:570-574)