Movement, imaging and neurobehavioral assessment as predictors of cerebral palsy in preterm infants

J Perinatol. 2007 Apr;27(4):225-9. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2007 Feb 15.


Objective: To study the relative efficacy of three early predictors of cerebral palsy.

Method: One Hundred and thirty infants with birth weight <1500 g were recruited. Video recordings of spontaneous general movements were made at 36 and 52 weeks postconceptional age. Magnetic resonance imaging and the neurobehavioral assessment of the preterm infant were done at 36 weeks postconceptional age. Follow-up neurological examination and Bayley assessments were made at 18 months corrected age to make early identification of cerebral palsy.

Results: Magnetic resonance imaging gave the best specificity and accuracy of 91 and 84% respectively. General movements at 52 weeks showed an improved specificity and accuracy over performance at 36 weeks postconceptional age. The negative predictive value for all methods tested was between 90 and 97%. Combining the results of magnetic resonance imaging and the neurobehavioral assessment improved the sensitivity of prediction to 80%, suggesting that a holistic approach to early detection of cerebral lesions is preferable to a single test.

Conclusions: The majority of infants who appeared to behave within normal limits and exhibit normal brain structure in the newborn period were classified as neurologically intact at follow-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnosis*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Movement*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Video Recording