Noncystic "increased" periventricular echogenicity and other mild cranial sonographic abnormalities: predictors of outcome in low birth weight infants

J Clin Ultrasound. 1989 Oct;17(8):553-62. doi: 10.1002/jcu.1870170803.


The sonograms of 71 low birth weight infants were retrospectively reviewed and compared with results of neuromotor examinations at 24 months of age to determine whether mild abnormalities commonly detected on cranial sonograms (including milder grades of hemorrhage, ventricular dilation, and noncystic increases in periventricular echogenicity) were correlated with future neurologic handicaps. Of the 71 infants studied, increased periventricular echoes were noted in 20 (28%), Grade 1 or 2 intracranial hemorrhage in 31 (43%), and mild-moderate ventriculomegaly in 28 (39%). Neuromotor handicaps were detected in 15 (21%). No significant correlation was found between the above sonographic abnormalities and the incidence of future neuromotor handicaps. When those neonates with asymmetric mild-moderate ventriculomegaly were separately analyzed, this group was found to have more neuromotor handicaps (p less than 0.05) than those with normal ventricular size, and this finding warrants future study. Importantly, early cranial sonograms were completely normal in 12% of those infants with neuromotor handicaps. We conclude that the presence of mild cranial sonographic abnormalities (including mildly increased periventricular echogenicity) in these infants is not well correlated with neuromotor handicaps detected at 24 months of age.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / complications
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography*