European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 167, Issue 10, pp 1141–1147 | Cite as

Disrupted cerebellar development in preterm infants is associated with impaired neurodevelopmental outcome

  • Agnes Messerschmidt
  • Renate Fuiko
  • Daniela Prayer
  • Peter C. Brugger
  • Eugen Boltshauser
  • Gerlinde Zoder
  • Walter Sterniste
  • Michael Weber
  • Robert Birnbacher
Original Paper

Abstract

The unfavorable impact of prematurity on the developing cerebellum was recently recognized, but the outcome after impaired cerebellar development as a prematurity-related complication is hitherto not adequately documented. Therefore we compared 31 preterm patients with disrupted cerebellar development to a control group of 31 gender and gestational age matched premature infants with normal cerebellar development. Supratentorial brain injuries during the neonatal period were comparable between the groups. At a minimum age of 24 months motor and mental development was assessed by standardized tests. Disrupted cerebellar development was associated with significantly poorer scores both in the subtests for neuromotor (p < 0.001) and mental development (p < 0.001), respectively. Mixed CP was diagnosed in 48% of affected patients, whereas none of the patients of the control group had mixed CP. Microcephaly and epilepsy were significantly related to disrupted cerebellar development. Preterm patients with disrupted cerebellar development exhibit poorer outcome results in all investigated variables. The role of the cerebellum in neurodevelopment after prematurity seems to be underestimated so far.

Keywords

Cerebellum Disrupted development Prematurity Brain injury Neurodevelopmental outcome 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Messerschmidt
    • 1
    • 8
  • Renate Fuiko
    • 1
  • Daniela Prayer
    • 2
  • Peter C. Brugger
    • 3
  • Eugen Boltshauser
    • 4
  • Gerlinde Zoder
    • 5
  • Walter Sterniste
    • 6
  • Michael Weber
    • 7
  • Robert Birnbacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of General Pediatrics and Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyUniversity Clinics of Radiodiagnostics, Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyUniversity Children’s HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.Kinderklinik der Stadt WienGlanzing im WilhelminenspitalViennaAustria
  6. 6.Pediatric Department of the Danube-Hospital/SMZOViennaAustria
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyUniversity Clinics of Radiodiagnostics, Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  8. 8.Department of Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive CareUniversity Children’s Hospital, Medical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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