Much emphasis has been placed on the VLBW infant who fares badly. On the other hand, there are few reports concentrating on the VLBW infant whose development is favourable and accelerated. This study addresses a cohort of Infants BW<1.5 kg who had high Bayley Mental Developmental scores ( = />115).
Objective To report on a subgroup of VLBW infants with accelerated mental development at 2 years and to identify any associated perinatal/neonatal factors that may have an impact on this.
Methods All infants BW<1500 g born in a tertiary 3 Unit were followed up at 2 years corrected age. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development – 11 were used to measure Mental, Psychomotor and Emotional development during the period 1997–2004.
Results Out of a total of 465 infants assessed 73 (15.7%) infants demonstrated Accelerated Mental Performance (MDI = />115). Linguistic acquisition was a strong feature. 66% were girls. On a sub-group analysis infants with BW between 1 Kg and 1.5 Kg and those BW<1 Kg had similar mean MDI scores. GA did not influence outcome.
Conclusion Our findings demonstrate that a sizeable number of VLBW infants achieved an accelerated MDI score when tested at 2 years corrected age. We feel that more emphasis should be placed on this group of infants in follow-up studies as they may help to identify characteristics that are conducive to good developmental outcome in the VLBW infant.