In this prospective study, cranial ultrasound was performed to detect periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia in 33 preterm infants of less than 32 weeks' gestation. At 44 weeks postmenstrual age magnetic resonance imaging was performed to detect the stage of myelination. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at 3 years of age in 31 children (2 children died in the first year of life). Significant correlations were found between neurodevelopmental outcome and ultrasound findings (χ2 = 32.8; P < .0001) and stage of myelination (χ2 = 20.5; P < .0005). To establish the criterion with the best predictive factor, multiple regression analysis was performed with outcome as dependent variable and periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, and stage of myelination as independent variables. It appeared that the detection of periventricular leukomalacia with ultrasound showed the best predictive factor for neurodevelopmental outcome. Routine magnetic resonance imaging at 44 weeks postmenstrual age should not be performed just for the purpose of predicting neurodevelopmental outcome more reliably.
- Received July 8, 1991.
- Accepted January 15, 1992.
- Copyright © 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics