Serial ultrasound imaging of the brain was carried out in 87 preterm infants of 27 to 36 weeks' gestational age while they were in the special care nursery and during their first postnatal year. None had evidence of intracranial disease during the neonatal period and 94% had good neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age. Lateral ventricle area measurements were plotted against independent variables including postnatal age and head circumference at the time of the examination. The measurements increased as age and head circumference increased. During the first six weeks of life the mean (SD) postnatal head circumference growth velocity (rate of growth) was 0.53 (0.13) cm/week and the mean postnatal ventricular area growth velocity was 0.39 (0.19) mm2/week. A reference range for lateral ventricle area values was developed from these serial measurements in infants with documented good short term developmental outcome.
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