Cerebellar growth in very low birth weight infants

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The aim of this study was to assess cerebellar growth of very low birth weight infants from birth to discharge and compare it with term infants.

Study Design:

Very low birth weight infants were matched by gender, adequacy of weight to gestational age at birth and postmenstrual ages at hospital discharge to term newborns. Exclusion criteria were central nervous system malformation, peri-intraventricular hemorrhage, cerebellar hemorrhage and meningitis. Transverse cerebellar diameter was measured by cranial ultrasound at birth and at hospital discharge in cases, and at birth in matched controls. Very low birth weight infants had magnetic resonance imaging done in the first year.


Cerebellar growth was similar in very low birth weight infants without periventricular leukomalacia and controls, and smaller in cases with periventricular leukomalacia than in controls.


We suggest that cerebellar growth is normal in the absence of supratentorial injury.

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