Head growth during neonatal intensive care unit stay is related to neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants born small for gestational age
Background: To investigate postnatal growth patterns and their relationship with neurodevelopment in preterm infants born small for gestational age (SGA).Methods: This study analyzed 90 infants born SGA with birth weight <1,500 g or gestational age <32 weeks. Length, weight, and head circumference (HC) were recorded at birth, 35 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA), 40 weeks PMA, and at 4, 9, and 18 months corrected age (CA). Neurodevelopmental outcomes were assessed using the Bayley-III scales at 18
... y-III scales at 18 months CA. Results: Z-score of HC in SGA infants increased from birth to 40 weeks PMA. Failure of head growth catch-up to 10th percentile by 4 months CA and all three parameters by 9 months CA and onwards were associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes. Z-score changes in head growth between birth and 35 weeks PMA were significantly associated with neurodevelopmental outcome (p=0.006, adjusted odds ratio 6.964, 95% confidence interval: 1.763-27.506). Conclusions: Head growth during neonatal intensive care unit stay were associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm SGA infants. Preterm SGA infants are predicted to have optimal neurodevelopment at 18 months CA, if the head growth catch-up is achieved by 4 months CA and length and weight by 9 months CA.