Upper limb movements and outcome in intrauterine-growth-retarded infants at 2 years

Luba Zuk*, Shaul Harel, Yael Leitner, Ariel Jaffa, Aviva Fattal-Valevski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to examine the usefulness of spontaneous upper limb movements (ULM) as an early marker for predicting neurodevelopmental outcome in infants with intrauterine-growth retardation (IUGR). The assessment of general movements (GMs) during the first 20 weeks is an accepted method for early detection of brain dysfunction. During this period, spontaneous upper limb movements were examined in 32 infants with IUGR and 32 appropriate-for-gestational-age-matched controls. ULM (arms, forearms and hands) were scored as optimal or suboptimal by sequential videotape recordings in the writhing (term-2 weeks: score 0-5); early fidgety (9-11 weeks: score 0-6); and late fidgety (14-16 weeks: score 0-6) periods, and correlated with neurodevelopmental score at 2 years of age. The mean ULM score was lower in the IUGR infants than the controls (p < 0.05) and in the IUGR group was lower in the infants with abnormal outcome (p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between ULM and 2-year neurodevelopmental scores in the IUGR group. The ULM during late-fidgety period was most predictive for 2-year neurodevelopmental score. No difference was found in the mean ULM score between the pre-term and term IUGR infants. We conclude that ULM score can serve as an early predictor for neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age in infants with IUGR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Development
  • Infant
  • Intrauterine-growth retardation
  • Upper limb movements


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