Xiong et al identified a number of factors that may affect the neurodevelopmental outcome for a preterm infant. These need to be addressed in order to minimize disability from any neurodevelopmental problem. The authors are from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and the University of California at San Francisco.


Patient selection: preterm infant


Risk factors associated with gestation and delivery:

(1) low gestational age

(2) low birthweight

(3) small for gestational age (SGA) and/or growth restriction

(4) birth asphyxia

(5) adverse labor events

(6) extent of any brain damage (injury, structural)

(7) intra-uterine infection and/or chorioamnionitis

(8) preterm premature rupture of the membranes

(9) twin or multiple gestation

(10) quality of neonatal intensive care


Risk factors related to constitutional and comorbid conditions:

(1) male gender

(2) birth defects

(3) chronic lung disease

(4) necrotizing enterocolitis

(5) apnea and bradycardia

(6) hyperbilirubinemia

(7) seizures

(8) nutritional deficiencies

(9) slow growth velocity (failure to thrive)

(10) small head circumference

(11) hypothyroidism

(12) infection


Risk factors related to social and environmental issues:

(1) interference with maternal-infant interaction

(2) lack of developmental interventions or developmental care

(3) low socioeconomic status

(4) parental mental health issues (substance abuse, etc)

(5) poor family dynamics (divorce, etc)



• Abuse and neglect would be additional factors.

• Genetic disorders like trisomy would affect outcome.

• Exposure to toxins in the environment would be affect outcome.

• The authors also listed: lack of breast milk, constant bright lights and high noise levels as risk factors.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.