Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Original research
Neurodevelopment at 2 years corrected age among Vietnamese preterm infants
  1. Chuong Huu Thieu Do1,
  2. Alexandra Yasmin Kruse2,
  3. Bridget Wills3,4,
  4. Saraswathy Sabanathan3,
  5. Hannah Clapham3,4,
  6. Freddy Karup Pedersen2,
  7. Thanh Ngoc Pham3,
  8. Phuc Minh Vu5,
  9. Malene Landbo Børresen2
  1. 1 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  2. 2 Global Health Unit, Department of Paediatric and Adolescence, Copenhagen University Hospital - Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3 Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  4. 4 Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  5. 5 Department of Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chuong Huu Thieu Do, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital 1, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam; thieuchuong{at}


Background Preterm infants are at risk of neurodevelopmental delay, but data on long-term outcomes in low-income and middle-income countries remain scarce.

Objectives To examine neurodevelopment using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-3rd edition (Bayley-III) and neurological findings in 2-year-old preterm infants, and to compare with healthy Vietnamese infants. Further, to assess factors associated with neurodevelopmental impairment.

Design and setting Cohort study to follow up preterm infants discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a tertiary children’s hospital in Vietnam.

Participants Infants born at <37 weeks of gestational age.

Main outcomes Bayley-III assessment and neurological examination at 2-year corrected age (CA) compared with healthy Vietnamese infants.

Results Of 294 NICU preterm infants, Bayley-III scores of all 184/243 (76%) survivors at 2 years CA were significantly lower than those of healthy Vietnamese peers in all three domains: cognition (mean (SD): 84.5 (8.6) vs 91.4 (7.5), p<0.001), language (mean (SD): 88.7 (12.5) vs 95.9 (11.9), p<0.001) and motor (mean (SD): 93.1 (9.0) vs 96.8 (9.3), p=0.003). The mean differences in Bayley-III scores between preterm and healthy Vietnamese infants were −6.9 (−9.1 to −4.7), −7.2 (−10.5 to −3.8) and −3.7 (−6.1 to −1.2) for cognitive, language and motor scores, respectively. The prevalence of neurodevelopmental impairment was 17% for cognitive, 8% for language and 4% for motor performance. In total, 7% were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Higher maternal education was positively associated with infant neurodevelopment (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.94).

Conclusions Vietnamese preterm infants in need of neonatal intensive care showed poor neurodevelopment at 2 years. Higher maternal education was positively associated with infant neurodevelopment. Standard follow-up programmes for preterm infants should be considered in low-resource settings.

  • preterm infant
  • intensive care
  • neurodevelopment
  • Bayley scale
  • low resource setting
  • middle-income country

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors This study was conceptualised by CHTD, SS, BW, FKP, AYK and MLB. Grant funding to support the salaries of the Bayley team of assessors and the cost of the Bayley licenses for the study was obtained by SS, BW and FKP. Clinical assessments and neurological examinations were performed by CHTD. Bayley assessments were performed by the Bayley team, trained and supervised by PNT and SS. Data were analysed by CHTD, HC and MLB. CHTD, AYK, FKP and MLB wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding Laerdal foundation, DANIDA and Wellcome Trust Strategic Award to Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, reference number 106680/B/14/Z.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles