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Head circumference, total cerebral volume and neurodevelopment in preterm neonates
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  • Published on:
    Head Growth looking beyond the NICU
    • Shabih Manzar, Neonatologist Ochsner LSU Health, Shreveport, LA, USA

    In this study Selvanathan et al [1] showed small birth head circumference (HC) to be associated with poorer neurodevelopment outcome, independent of postnatal illness and white matter injury. They concluded that normalisation of HC during NICU care appears to moderate this risk.

    It was interesting to note that normal/small group had the highest chorioamnionitis (40%), lowest ROP (0) and highest NEC (30%) rates. They also received the highest Energy (kcal/kg/day), median 80. What could be the reason for the HC to regress from normal to small?

    We need to investigate other factors that affect the head growth. The individual factors such as parental bonding and availability, environmental exposure to noise, light and other stimuli may have some role in slowing the head growth.

    Interestingly, in the same issue of ADC, Ni et al [2] have shown poor HC growth in EPICure2 that was unchanged from EPICure, which is alarming.

    1. Selvanathan T, Guo T, Kwan E, et al. Head circumference, total cerebral volume and neurodevelopment in preterm neonates. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2022;107(2):181-187. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2020-321397

    2. Ni Y, Lancaster R, Suonpera E, et al. Growth in extremely preterm children born in England in 1995 and 2006: the EPICure studies. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2022;107(2):193-200. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2020-321107

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.