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Long-term neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants: Management

Deanne Wilson-Costello, MD
Allison Payne, MD MS
Section Editors
Richard Martin, MD
Marilyn Augustyn, MD
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD


Neurodevelopmental impairment is a major long-term complication for many former preterm infants. However, comprehensive ongoing assessment to detect neurodevelopmental sequelae and early interventions services are costly and labor intensive and may not be warranted in all preterm survivors. As a result, a key management issue confronting clinicians who care for preterm survivors and their families is identifying infants who are at risk for subsequent significant neurodevelopmental disability and who may benefit from early intervention. This is particularly challenging as available screening tools are not precise enough for accurate prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome for individual patients.

This topic will discuss follow-up neurodevelopmental care of former preterm infants recognizing the challenge of accurate clinical prediction. The epidemiology and risk factors of neurodevelopmental impairment for preterm infants are discussed separately. (See "Long-term neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants: Epidemiology and risk factors".)


Prematurity — Degrees of preterm birth are typically defined by gestational age (GA) or birth weight (BW). The following definitions are used throughout this review.

The classification based upon GA is as follows:

Late preterm birth – GA between 34 weeks and 36 6/7 weeks

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 19, 2017.
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