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



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.


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.


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.

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Supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which provided grant support for the Neonatal Research Network’s Generic Database and Follow-up Studies. numbers, NCT00063063 and NCT00233324.

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Correspondence to Andrea F. Duncan.

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Duncan, A.F., Bann, C.M., Dempsey, A.G. et al. Neuroimaging and Bayley-III correlates of early hand function in extremely preterm children. J Perinatol 39, 488–496 (2019).

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