Qualitative Brain MRI at Term and Cognitive Outcomes at 9 Years After Very Preterm Birth

Pediatrics, 05/07/2012

Iwata S et al. – In a cohort of very preterm born infants, abnormal white matter appearance on term MRI showed consistent associations with cognitive impairments at 9 years old, further supporting the benefit of obtaining term MRI for very preterm born infants.


  • Seventy-six very preterm born infants (birth weight <1500 g or gestational age <32 weeks) obtained cerebral MRI at term-equivalent period, which was assessed by using established composite scores for the white and gray matter; cognitive outcomes at 9 years old were assessed in 60 subjects by using Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition.


  • Mildly low scores on the different IQ indices (<85) were observed in 23.3% (verbal IQ), 41.7% (performance IQ), and 30.0% (full-scale IQ) of the cohort, whereas moderately low scores (<70) were noted in 3.3% (verbal IQ), 11.7% (performance IQ), and 11.7% (full-scale IQ); cerebral palsy was diagnosed in 10.0%, whereas special assistance at school was required in 56.7%.
  • Abnormal white matter appearances predicted mildly low verbal, performance, and full-scale IQs; moderately low performance and full-scale IQs; cerebral palsy; and the requirement for special assistance at school.
  • Abnormal white matter appearances predicted mild cognitive impairment even after the adjustment for known clinical risk factors.
  • In contrast, abnormal gray matter appearances did not predict any of the outcome measures.

Print Article Summary