To the Editor.

If the combined goals of perinatal intensive care are to promote survival and to prevent handicap in high-risk neonatal populations, then examination of factors that may affect developmental outcome is critical. Recent data suggest that preterm neonates <1250 g birth weight represent over 1% of all live births in the United States; the survival rate for this population of infants exceeds 85%, yet the handicap rate has not changed during the past decade. In addition, 15% to 36% of these children have been reported to suffer major neurodevelopmental handicaps at school age. By age 8 years, 25% have repeated at least one grade in school, and >50% are receiving special educational services.

Intraventricular hemorrhage, or hemorrhage into the germinal matrix tissues of the developing brain, remains a major problem of preterm neonates. The incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage among preterm infants ranges...

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