Predicting motor development in very preterm infants at 12 months' corrected age: The role of qualitative magnetic resonance imaging and general movements assessments
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OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to compare the predictive value of qualitative MRI of brain structure at term and general movements assessments at 1 and 3 months' corrected age for motor outcome at 1 year's corrected age in very preterm infants. PATIENTS AND METHODS. Eighty-six very preterm infants (<30 weeks' gestation) underwent MRI at term-equivalent age, were evaluated for white matter abnormality, and had general movements assessed at 1 and 3 months' corrected age. Motor outcome at 1 year's corrected age was evaluated with the Alberta Infant Motor Scale, the Neuro-Sensory Motor Development Assessment, and the diagnosis of cerebral palsy by the child's pediatrician. RESULTS. At 1 year of age, the Alberta Infant Motor Scale categorized 30 (35%) infants as suspicious/abnormal;the Neuro-Sensory Motor Development Assessment categorized 16 (18%) infants with mild-to-severe motor dysfunction, and 5 (6%) infants were classified with cerebral palsy. White matter abnormality at term and general movements at 1 and 3 months significantly correlated with Alberta Infant Motor Scale and Neuro-Sensory Motor Development Assessment scores at 1 year. White matter abnormality and general movements at 3 months were the only assessments that correlated with cerebral palsy. All assessments had 100% sensitivity in predicting cerebral palsy. White matter abnormality demonstrated the greatest accuracy in predicting combined motor outcomes, with excellent evels of specificity (>90%); however, the sensitivity was low. On the other hand, general movements assessments at 1 month had the highest sensitivity (>80%); however, the overall accuracy was relatively low. CONCLUSION. Neuroimaging (MRI) and functional (general movements) examinations have important complementary roles in predicting motor development of very preterm infants. © 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
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