Early human development vol:51 issue:2 pages:179-86
The predictive value of the neonatal neurological examination (NNE) adapted from Prechtl, was investigated in 139 term Zimbabwean infants born with an Apgar score of five or less at 5 min. At 4 months, seven infants had died and 13 were lost to follow-up, leaving 119 infants to undergo the Infant Motor Screen (IMS). Eighty-eight infants were diagnosed as normal, six as suspect and 25 as abnormal at screening. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the NNE were 94%, 55%, 42% and 96%, respectively. Seventeen (14%) infants had developed microcephaly at 4 months and 13 (77%) of them scored abnormal on the IMS. Twenty-three of the 48 (48%) infants who had convulsions within 48 h of birth, were diagnosed as abnormal (P < 0.0001). The NNE proved to be very sensitive in detecting neurodevelopmental abnormalities in the neonatal period and the five abnormal syndromes derived from the NNE were able to correctly identify 94% of the abnormal infants.