To determine the predictive value of cranial ultrasonographic examination in high-risk preterm infants at different postnatal ages, we scanned 110 infants ≤32 weeks gestational age at 1, 2, 3, and 6 weeks postnatal ages and at 40 weeks postconceptional age (PCA). Cranial abnormalities detected by ultrasonography at each postnatal age of examination were classified as minor (periventricular superolateral echogenicity with or without intraventricular hemorrhage, grades 1 to 3) or major (cystic periventricular leukomalacia with or without intraventricular hemorrhage, grade 4) and correlated with neurodevelopmental outcome determined by 1 year of age. Major abnormalities detected by ultrasonography were present in four infants at 1 week, four at 2 weeks, eight at 3 weeks, and 11 infants at 6 weeks and 40 weeks PCA, respectively. Nineteen infants (17%) had moderate to severe functional handicaps defined as cerebral palsy, cognitive or visual deficit, or deafness. The positive and negative predictive values of ultrasound examinations, with regard to later neurodevelopmental outcome, improved with increasing postnatal age at examination and was best at 40 weeks PCA. Negative results of ultrasound study at 40 weeks PCA most correctly predicted satisfactory outcome. Although only 58% of moderately to severely handicapped infants were correctly identified by ultrasound examination at 40 weeks PCA, all infants with major ultrasonographic abnormalities at 40 weeks PCA had moderate or severe handicap. Our data demonstrate that the timing of cerebral ultrasonography is important in the prediction of later neurodevelopmental outcome in high-risk preterm infants. © 1988 The C. V. Mosby Company.
Nwaesei, C. G., Allen, A. C., Vincer, M. J., Brown, S. J., Stinson, D. A., Evans, J. R., & Byrne, J. M. (1988). Effect of timing of cerebral ultrasonography on the prediction of later neurodevelopmental outcome in high-risk preterm infants. The Journal of Pediatrics, 112(6), 970–975. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(88)80228-2