Background: Greater ventriculomegaly in preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) has been associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes in infancy. We aim to explore the relationship between ventriculomegaly and school-age functional outcome.
Methods: Retrospective review of preterm infants with Grade III/IV IVH from 2006 to 2020. Frontal-occipital horn ratio (FOHR) was measured on imaging throughout hospitalization and last available follow-up scan. Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category (PCPC) scale was used to assess functional outcome at ≥4 years. Ordinal logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between functional outcome and FOHR at the time of Neurosurgery consult, neurosurgical intervention, and last follow-up scan while adjusting for confounders.
Results: One hundred and thirty-four infants had Grade III/IV IVH. FOHR at consult was 0.62 ± 0.12 and 0.75 ± 0.13 at first intervention (p < 0.001). On univariable analysis, maximum FOHR, FOHR at the last follow-up scan, and at Neurosurgery consult predicted worse functional outcome (p < 0.01). PVL, longer hospital admission, and gastrotomy/tracheostomy tube also predicted worse outcome (p < 0.05). PVL, maximum FOHR, and FOHR at consult remained significant on multivariable analysis (p < 0.05). Maximum FOHR of 0.61 is a fair predictor for moderate-severe impairment (AUC 75%, 95% CI: 62-87%).
Conclusions: Greater ventricular dilatation and PVL were independently associated with worse functional outcome in Grade III/IV IVH regardless of neurosurgical intervention.
Impact: Ventriculomegaly measured by frontal-occipital horn ratio (FOHR) and periventricular leukomalacia are independent correlates of school-age functional outcomes in preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage regardless of need for neurosurgical intervention. These findings extend the known association between ventriculomegaly and neurodevelopmental outcomes in infancy to functional outcomes at school age. FOHR is a fair predictor of school-age functional outcome, but there are likely other factors that influence functional status, which highlights the need for prospective studies to incorporate other clinical and demographic variables in predictive models.