Objective The aim of this study was to compare the somatic and neurodevelopmental outcomes of small and late preterm infants and also to determine the prenatal, natal and postnatal factors affecting these outcomes.
Methods A total of 163 infants that were born < 32 weeks of gestation (small preterms, control group) and 240 infants born >32 weeks of gestation (late preterms, study group) were included to this prospective study. All infants were evaluated at postnatal 42 weeks. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of these infants were evaluated with neurological examination and Denver II Developmental Screening Test. Also somatic evaluation including the determination of the length according to Turkish children percentilles was also performed.
Results The major neurological sequele ratio was significantly higher in small preterm infants (13.9%) compared with the late preterms (2.4%). Apgar scores at 5 minute, need of resuscitation in delivery room and male gender were all significantly associated with an increased risk of adverse neurological outcomes. Also presence of neonatal morbidities including neonatal hypoglycemia, sepsis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage greater than stage III were also abnormal Denver results. Somatic growth failure was detected in 2% and 4.9% of the late and small preterm infants.
Conclusion Small preterm infants might have significantly higher abnormal neurodevelopmental outcomes compared with late preterms. However, late preterm infants might be routinely followed-up for somatic growth and also neurodevelopmental outcomes.