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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Milner, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, Marc J.N.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

9 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.577
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.705

CiteScore 2016: 1.49

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.602
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.832

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Volume 39, Issue 5 (Sep 2011)


Head circumference catch-up growth among preterm very low birth weight infants: effect on neurodevelopmental outcome

Elaheh Ghods
  • Division of Pediatric Nutrition and Prevention, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • Email:
/ Alexandra Kreissl
  • Division of Pediatric Nutrition and Prevention, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
/ Sophie Brandstetter
  • Department for Neonatology and General Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
/ Renate Fuiko
  • Division of Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
/ Kurt Widhalm
  • Division of Pediatric Nutrition and Prevention, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Published Online: 2011-07-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.049


Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine whether head circumference (HC) catch-up is associated with improved neurocognitive development.

Design: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in 179 preterm very low birth weight (VLBW) (BW≤1500 g) infants. The infants were born in 2000–2002 and were followed to the age of 5.5 years. The association between HC catch-up and neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed and perinatal risk factors, infant characteristics and nutritional practices associated with HC catch-up were determined.

Results: HC catch-up occurred in 59 (34%) infants and was positively correlated with neurodevelopmental outcome. The likelihood of HC catch-up increased with increasing birth weight and gestational age. HC catch-up occurred more often with breast milk feeding during hospitalization and with supplemental formula feeding at discharge, but decreased in prevalence with longer duration of breastfeeding after discharge. HC catch-up was more likely to occur in first-born infants and in families with high socioeconomic status. Most HC catch-up occurred between birth and three months corrected age.

Conclusion: Among preterm-VLBW infants, there is a close relation between HC growth and neurodevelopmental outcome. Efforts to improve neurocognitive outcomes should focus on factors associated with HC catch-up.

Keywords: Breast milk feeding; catch-up growth; neurocognitive outcome; preterm; preterm formula; very low birth weight

About the article

Corresponding author: Elaheh Ghods Division of Pediatric Nutrition and Prevention Department of Pediatrics Medical University of Vienna Austria Tel.: +43-01-404002337 Fax: +43-01-404002338

Received: 2010-06-14

Revised: 2011-03-08

Accepted: 2011-03-15

Published Online: 2011-07-11

Published Online: 2011-07-11

Published in Print: 2011-09-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.049.

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