Objective: To evaluate the impact of birth weight on development of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants using the Neurobehavioral Assessment of the Preterm Infant (NAPI) before hospital discharge, and to show the relation to follow-up outcomes at 12, 18 and 30 months of age.
Study design: In total, 113 preterm infants were assessed with the NAPI at 36 weeks postmenstrual age. Later, neurodevelopment was examined using the Bayley Infant Neurodevelopmental Screener (BINS) at 12 months and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, at 18 and 30 months. The cohort was divided into two groups, based on birth weight, extremely low birth weight (ELBW) (<1000 g) and VLBW (1000 to 1500 g).
Results: ELBW infants showed significantly lower NAPI scores compared with VLBW infants at 36 weeks. The predischarge NAPI scores correlated with the 12, 18 and 30 months scores when the ELBW infants continue to have lower performance than the VLBW infants. In all, 14 infants developed cerebral palsy. These infants had significantly lower NAPI, BINS and Bayley scores compared with all other preterm infants.
Conclusion: NAPI before discharge provides clinically meaningful information related to later neurodevelopmental outcome.