The study was designed to detect early clinical predictors of developmental outcome in children with intrauterine growth retardation. Eighty-five children with intrauterine growth retardation were followed up prospectively to 3 years of age, using biometric parameters, perinatal risk questionnaires, and neurodevelopmental evaluations. Forty-two children served as controls. A significant difference in neurodevelopmental score at 3 years of age was noted between the intrauterine growth retardation and control groups (P < .001). In the intrauterine growth retardation group, the clinical parameters that most significantly correlated with outcome were cephalization index (head circumference:birthweight ratio), neonatal risk score, and birthweight. The best predictor of 3-year outcome was the cephalization index (P < .01). The children with intrauterine growth retardation with neonatal complications had significantly lower IQ scores (P < .05) and a poorer neurodevelopmental outcome (P < .01) than those without complications. Children with intrauterine growth retardation are at higher risk for developmental disabilities than are controls, especially in the presence of neonatal complications and a high cephalization index.