Understanding long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of very and extremely preterm infants: A clinical review
Australian Journal of General Practice
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Background: Survival of infants born atsurvivors.
Objective(s): The aim of this article is to provide a pragmatic clinical review of long-term neurodevelopmental risk experienced by very preterm infants.
Discussion: Very preterm infants have a higher risk of cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, deafness and blindness, and autism spectrum disorder when compared with term controls. The presence of Grade 3 or 4 intraventricular haemorrhage or necrotising enterocolitis increased the risk of cerebral palsy, while magnesium sulphate for threatened preterm labour decreased the risk in the surviving neonate. Most of the neurodevelopmental conditions can be diagnosed in early childhood through regular follow-up. General practitioners need to be vigilant about early signs of developmental problems affecting preterm survivors. Regular follow-up is necessary to identify red flags in early development.