Background:Higher cortical function during sensory processing can be examined by recording specific somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) with magnetoencephalography (MEG). We evaluated whether, in extremely low-gestational-age (ELGA) infants, abnormalities in MEG-recorded SEFs at term age are associated with adverse neurodevelopment at 2 y of corrected age.Methods:SEFs to tactile stimulation of the index finger were recorded at term age in 30 ELGA infants (26.5 ± 1.2 wk, birth weight: 884g ± 181 g). Neurodevelopment was evaluated at 2 y of corrected age. Controls were 11 healthy term infants.Results:In nine of the ELGA infants (30.0%), SEFs were categorized as abnormal on the basis of lack of response from secondary somatosensory cortex (SII). At 2 y, these infants had a significantly worse mean developmental quotient and locomotor subscale on the Griffiths Mental Development Scales than the ELGA infants with normal responses. Mild white matter abnormalities in magnetic resonance imaging at term age were detected in 21% of infants, but these abnormalities were not associated with adverse neurodevelopment.Conclusion:Abnormal SII responses at term predict adverse neuromotor development at 2 y of corrected age. This adverse development may not be foreseen with conventional neuroimaging methods, suggesting a role for evaluating SII responses in the developmental risk assessment of ELGA infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health