Of 798 very low birthweight infants admitted to a regional neonatal intensive care unit over a five year period, 547 were discharged home and 524 available for follow up at two to five years later. Eighty-seven infants had a major impairment. Both early and late cerebral ultrasonographic appearances gave useful prognostic information, but the presence of cystic lesions, particularly if bilateral, was highly significant. There was a close correlation between late parenchymal lesions and previous ipsilateral intraventricular haemorrhage, suggesting a causal relation.
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