This study investigated the association between different neonatal ultrasonographic classifications and adolescent cognitive, educational, and behavioral outcomes following very preterm birth. Participants included a group of 120 adolescents who were born very preterm (33 weeks of gestation), subdivided into three groups according to their neonatal cerebral ultrasound (US) classifications: (a) normal (N = 69), (b) periventricular hemorrhage (PVH, N = 37), and (c) PVH with ventricular dilatation (PVH + DIL, N = 14), and 50 controls. The cognitive functions assessed were full-scale IQ, phonological and semantic verbal fluency, and visual-motor integration. Educational outcomes included reading and spelling; behavioral outcomes were assessed with the Rutter Parents' Scale and the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS). Adolescent outcome scores were compared among the four groups. A main effect for group was observed for full-scale IQ, Rutter Parents' Scale total scores, and PAS total scores, after controlling for gestational age, socioeconomic status and gender, with the PVH + DIL group showing the most impaired scores compared to the other groups. The current results demonstrate that routine neonatal ultrasound classifications are associated with later cognitive and behavioral outcome. Neonatal ultrasounds could aid in the identification of subgroups of children who are at increased risk of neurodevelopmental problems. These at risk subgroups could then be referred to appropriate early intervention services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology