Neuroimaging and Bayley-III correlates of early hand function in extremely preterm children

J Perinatol. 2019 Mar;39(3):488-496. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0314-0. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


Objective(s): Investigate associations between 18 and 22-month corrected age hand function, adverse findings on serial cranial ultrasound (CUS) and near-term brain MRI (ntMRI), and Bayley-III scores in extremely preterm (EPT) toddlers.

Study design: Cohort analysis of Neonatal Research Network SUPPORT NEURO data. Associations between brain abnormalities, hand function, and Bayley-III scores were examined using chi-square and generalized linear mixed effect model analyses.

Results: A total of 433 children were included. Sixteen percent had hand function deficits; these were associated with late CUS (p < 0.001) abnormalities, white matter abnormality (WMA) on ntMRI (p < 0.001), and Bayley-III scores. Six percent had CP. Fourteen percent of children without and 50% of those with CP had hand function abnormalities.

Conclusions: Late CUS findings and severity of WMA were significantly associated with hand function deficits. Hand function deficits were nearly three times more common than CP and may be a useful marker of early brain insult and predictor of preterm birth effects on development.

Trial registration: NCT00063063 NCT00233324.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis*
  • Echoencephalography*
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Extremely Premature / physiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests

Associated data