Uncoordinated Sucking Patterns in Preterm Infants are Associated with Abnormal General Movements
The Journal of Pediatrics, 06/01/2012
Nieuwenhuis T et al. – The development of sucking patterns in preterm infants was related to the quality of fidgety movements. Uncoordinated sucking patterns were associated with abnormal fidgety movements, indicating that uncoordinated sucking, swallowing, and breathing may represent neurologic dysfunction.Methods
- The authors studied the sucking patterns and fidgety movements of 44 preterm infants (gestational age <35 weeks) longitudinally from 34 weeks' postmenstrual age up to 14 weeks postterm.
- They used the Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale during feeding and scored the sucking patterns as normal or abnormal.
- Abnormal sucking patterns were categorized into arrhythmic sucking and uncoordinated sucking.
- The postmenstrual age at which sucking patterns became normal (median, 48 weeks; range, 34 to >50 weeks) was correlated with the quality of fidgety movements.
- The percentage per infant of normal and uncoordinated sucking patterns was also correlated with the quality of fidgety movements.
- Infants with uncoordinated sucking patterns had a higher rate of abnormal fidgety movements (OR, 7.5; 95% CI, 1.4-40; P = .019).