Objective: To compare long-term neurodevelopmental and functional outcomes of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors with neonatal intraparenchymal echodensities (IPE) with porencephaly on cranial ultrasonography with matched controls. To compare the developmental trajectories of these infants over the childhood years with those of matched controls.
Design: Cohort study.
Setting: Tertiary level NICU and the Neonatal Follow-Up Programme (NFUP) in Vancouver, Canada.
Patients: NICU survivors with birth weights <1250 g, born between 1983 and 1985.
Methods: Cranial ultrasound scans of NICU subjects with grade 4 intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) were reviewed by a neuroradiologist and cases were defined, using stringent criteria, as IVH with IPE with porencephaly. Controls with normal cranial ultrasound findings were selected case-matched for birth weight and sex. Prospective sequential multidisciplinary assessments were performed up to 17 years in the NFUP. Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare outcomes between cases and controls.
Results: Of 385 eligible patients, 14 met IPE and porencephaly criteria and 10 survived to discharge. All cases with IPE and porencephaly had one or more impairments, significantly different from preterm controls (p<0.001). At all ages assessed, rates of motor, cognitive and overall impairment were significantly higher in the cases (p⩽0.002 for all tests). Most cases at adolescence were ambulatory, required learning assistance in school and had social challenges.
Conclusions: Children with neonatal IPE and porencephaly have a much worse long-term neurodevelopmental outcome than children with normal cranial ultrasound findings.
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Funding: This study was funded by the Consortium for Health Intervention Learning and Development (CHILD) project under SSHRCC grant 412-2002-1006.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the University of British Columbia and Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia.