OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to investigate whether an early neurofunctional assessment (at 12 months' corrected age) is predictive of cognitive outcome at 36 months of age in extremely low birth weight infants. METHODS. We conducted an observational longitudinal study. Neurodevelopmental outcome by means of a neurofunctional assessment was evaluated at 12 months' corrected age and 36 months' chronological age in 141 extremely low birth weight children. Cognitive outcome was assessed with use of the Griffiths Mental Developmental Scale. RESULTS. A significant association was found between the 12-month neurofunctional status and cognitive performance at 36 months. A higher general quotient on the Griffiths Mental Developmental Scale at 36 months was observed in infants who exhibited normal (score: ≤1) neurodevelopment compared with children who exhibited minor (score: 2) and major (score: ≥3) dysfunctions at the 12-month neurofunctional evaluation (99 ± 6.8 vs 85.3 ± 16.3 vs 57.3 ± 22.0). A score of ≥2 at the 12-month neurofunctional assessment, abnormal brain MRI results at term, and chronic lung disease remained predictive of cognitive delay at 36 months of age and also after adjustment for confounders. CONCLUSIONS. The 12-month neurofunctional evaluation may be an additional useful clinical tool in predicting later cognitive outcome in extremely low birth weight children.
- Cognitive outcome
- Extremely low birth weight infants
- Neurofunctional assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health