[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our prospective cohort study of extremely low gestational age newborns evaluated the association of neonatal head ultrasound abnormalities with cerebral palsy at age 2 years. Cranial ultrasounds in 1053 infants were read with respect to intraventricular hemorrhage, ventriculomegaly, and echolucency, by multiple sonologists. Standardized neurological examinations classified cerebral palsy, and functional impairment was assessed. Forty-four percent with ventriculomegaly and 52% with echolucency developed cerebral palsy. Compared with no ultrasound abnormalities, children with echolucency were 24 times more likely to have quadriparesis and 29 times more likely to have hemiparesis. Children with ventriculomegaly were 17 times more likely to have quadriparesis or hemiparesis. Forty-three percent of children with cerebral palsy had normal head ultrasound. Focal white matter damage (echolucency) and diffuse damage (late ventriculomegaly) are associated with a high probability of cerebral palsy, especially quadriparesis. Nearly half the cerebral palsy identified at 2 years is not preceded by a neonatal brain ultrasound abnormality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In lieu of traditional training of examiners to identify cerebral palsy on a neurologic examination at age 1 year, we proposed an alternative approach using a multimedia training video and CD-ROM we developed after a two-step validation process. We hypothesized that use of CD-ROM interactive training will lead to reliable and valid performance of the neurologic examination by both pediatric neurologists and nonpediatric neurologists. All examiners were asked to take one of six interobserver variability tests found on the CD-ROM on two occasions. In the first interobserver variability evaluation, 89% (531 of 594) of the responses agreed with the gold standard responses. Following annotated feedback to the examiners about the two items that had a 60% correct rate, the correct response rate rose to 93% (114 of 123). In the second interobserver variability evaluation, 88% (493 of 560) of the responses agreed with the gold standard responses. Following annotated feedback to the examiners about the four items that had a 70% correct rate, the correct response rate rose to 96% (104 of 108). Interactive CD-ROM examination training is an efficient and cost-effective means of training both neurologists and non-neurologists to perform structured neurologic examinations in 1-year-old children. It provides an effective means to evaluate interobserver variability, offers a route for feedback, and creates an opportunity to reevaluate variability, both immediately and at periodic intervals.