[Neurodevelopmental outcome of very low birth weight infants born at the Perinatal Centre in Ulm, Germany]

A Struck, M Almaazmi, H Bode, S Sander, B Hay, M Schmid, H Hummler
Zeitschrift Für Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie 2013, 217 (2): 65-71

BACKGROUND: Since 2006 an assessment of the neurodevelopmental outcome of very low birth weight infants (VLBWI) at a corrected age of 2 years is mandatory for every perinatal centre in Germany. The aim of our study was to check how complete these assessments were performed in our population of infants born at our perinatal centre and receiving treatment within our local neonatal network. Furthermore, the data obtained will be used for prenatal consultations. Another objective was to identify risk factors for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

METHODS: All VLBWI were invited for a follow-up exam using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II) or III (BSID-III), or Griffiths Mental Developmental Scales) at 2 years corrected age. The results of children assessed by other institutions were collected.

RESULTS: 142 (69.3%) of the 205 VLBWI, born and finally discharged alive at the perinatal centre in Ulm were assessed at a median (minimum - maximum) corrected age of 23 (18-27) months. The BSID-II Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) 91 was (< 50-128) (n=115), the BSID-II Mental Development Index (MDI) was 87 (< 50-134) (n=96), BSID-III MDI 95 (60-112) (n=29) and the Griffiths Score was 93 (67-140) (n=17). Severe disability was diagnosed in 36 (25.4%) of the children studied. Gestational age and higher grade intraventricular haemorrhage were associated independently with severe disability.

CONCLUSIONS: It is very difficult to achieve a high rate of follow-up examinations in preterm infants <1,500 g in a neonatal network. Severe impairment in VLBWI is not rare. Improving neurodevelopmental outcome remains a challenge.

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