Aims and study design: The Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination proved effective in predicting locomotor function in very preterm infants after 9 months of age. We performed the examination in a cohort of 103 very preterm infants (gestational age below 32 weeks) as early as 3 months' post-term age, and longitudinally at 6, 9 and 12 months. Our aim was to establish the frequency distribution of the optimality scores at each age period, to explore the predictive value of the examination from 3 months onwards as to developmental outcome and locomotor function at 2 years, and to explore its longitudinal consistency. Results: The results showed that this standardized neurological examination can be performed in preterm infants as early as 3 months' post-term age to predict motor outcome at 2 years, and that its high predictive value is consistent across the first year of life due to an effective combination of different items for each age period. Conclusions: We confirm the high predictive value of this neurological examination in very preterm infants after 9 months and extend it to the assessments performed as early as 3 months post-term. This is of great relevance as in very preterm infants early prediction of motor function is essential for a prompt planning of therapeutic interventions.
- Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination
- Motor outcome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology