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Arch Hellen Med, 31(3), May-June 2014, 272-277


Neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants

T. Siahanidou
Neonatal Unit, First Department of Pediatrics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

This is a review of the current literature concerning the neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. It is well known that preterm infants, especially those with very low birth weight (<1,500 g) or extremely low birth weight (<1,000 g) are at risk for long-term neurodevelopmental disorders, which may be either severe enough to cause major functional disabilities (cerebral palsy, severe mental delay, visual or hearing loss) or less severe (resulting in minor neuromotor dysfunction, mild cognitive impairment, school difficulties, neurobehavioral disorders), but with possible negative influence on their school performance and future academic achievements, communication and social skills. The incidence of neurodevelopmental impairment in preterm infants varies among studies, but it is encouraging that there has been a trend towards reduction in the rate of severe disorders over time. Late preterm infants (34−36 weeks of gestation) are also at risk for long-term adverse neurodevelopmental outcome, but the incidence and severity of the impairment are lower than in very preterm infants (<32 weeks of gestation).

Key words: Behavior disorders, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Outcome, Preterm infants, School difficulties.

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