Cranial ultrasound findings in preterm infants predict the development of cerebral palsy

Ann Lawaetz Skovgaard*, Gitte Zachariassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Introduction: Our aim was to evaluate any association between gestational age, birth weight and findings on cranial ultrasounds during hospitalisation in very preterm infants and mortality and neurological outcome in childhood. Method: This study was a retrospective cohort study based on a patient record review. The cohort consisted of very preterm born children (gestational age ≤ 32 + 0) born from 2004 to 2008. For each infant, we obtained results from all cranial ultrasounds performed during hospitalisation. In 2014, patient records were evaluated for cerebral palsy, Gross Motor Function Classification System, blindness and deafness. Results: A total of 249 infants were included. The mortality rate was 9.2%. In all, 217 children were evaluated at 5-9 years of age. Four children were diagnosed with germinal matrix haemorrhage – intraventricular haemorrhage grade 3 (GMH-IVH3) and periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PVHI), of whom two developed cerebral palsy. Nine children were diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), of whom six developed cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy was detected in 14 children (6.4%), and one (0.5%) child was in need of a hearing assistive device. Severe brain injury (GMH-IVH3, PVHI or PVL) (p = 0.000) and being of male gender (p = 0.03) were associated with cerebral palsy in childhood. Conclusion: Severe brain injuries detected by neonatal cranial ultrasound in very preterm infants is associated with development of cerebral palsy in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5330
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number2
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Birth Weight
  • Brain/diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Palsy/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnostic imaging
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular/diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Ultrasonography


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