Neurodevelopment and Growth of a Cohort of Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants Compared to Full-Term Infants in Brazil

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Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to investigate the neurodevelopment and growth of very low birth weight (BW) preterm infants, at 8 and 18 months corrected age (CA), compared with full term in Brazil.

Methods

Prospective cohort study including 83 preterm infants with BW ≤ 1,500 g and gestational age ≤ 32 weeks, and 52 full-term control infants. Preterm infants free from significant sensory and motor disability, and from congenital anomalies were included. Alberta infant motor scale (AIMS) and Brunet-Lèzini scale (BLS) were used to evaluate the neurodevelopment at 8 and 18 months. Anthropometric measurements were collected to evaluate the growth in both age groups.

Results

At 8 months CA, preterm infants scored significantly lower in total AIMS score (p = 0.001). At 18 months, they scored significantly lower on the stand subscale from AIMS (p = 0.040) and exhibited poor psychomotor development in the BLS (p = 0.006). The nutritional status showed significant differences between the groups, in both age groups (p < 0.001). There were positive correlations between nutritional status and AIMS (r = 0.420; p < 0.001) and BLS (r = 0.456; p < 0.001) at 8 months, and between head circumference and BLS (r = 0.235; p < 0.05) at 8 months and AIMS (r = 0.258; p < 0.05) at 18 months.

Conclusion

Very low BW preterm infants at 8 and 18 months CA showed significant differences in the neurodevelopment and growth pattern when compared with their full-term peers.

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