Neurological Examination and Hearing Assessment of Premature Infants with Gestational Age of Less Than 32 Weeks at Follow-up

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, B. J. Medical College, Civil Hospital Campus, Ahmedabad, India

2 Department of Pediatrics, B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, India

3 Shurya Hospital, Mumbai, India


Background: The survival of premature infants has improved in the recent era due to advances in perinatal and neonatal healthcare practices. These infants are at risk of neuro-sensorimotor impairment, as well as learning and behavioral disorders.
Methods: A longitudinal follow-up study was planned over 6 months at a High-Risk Clinic, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, India, to conduct the neurological examination and hearing assessment of premature infants born with gestational age less than 32 weeks. Infants who were born preterm at <32 weeks of gestational age and those attending the high-risk clinic at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of corrected gestational age were enrolled in the study. These infants were assessed for tone via the Amiel-Tison method and hearing impairment via BERA.
Results: During the study period, 69 infants were included with a mean gestational age of 30.4±1.2 weeks. On the assessment of tone, at 3 months of corrected age, 3 and 1 infants had hypertonia and hypotonia, respectively. At 6 months of corrected age, 4 and 3 infants had hypertonia and hypotonia, respectively. Moreover, 1 and 2 infants had hypertonia and hypotonia at 9 months of corrected age, respectively, and 1 infant had hypertonia at 12 months of corrected age. Out of 69 enrolled infants, 5 (7%) infants had hearing loss at 3 months of corrected gestational age, whereas 64 (93%) infants had normal hearing assessment via BERA at the corrected gestational age of 3 months.
Conclusion: Preterm infants are at very high risk of neurodevelopmental impairment and need frequent follow-up visits and early intervention.


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