BACKGROUND: Adults with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene alleles e4 and e2 are at high risk of poor neurological outcome after brain injury. The e4 allele has been associated with cerebral palsy (CP), and the e2 allele has been associated with worse neurological outcome with congenital heart disease. This study was done to test the hypothesis that the APOE genotype is associated with outcome among neonates who survive after hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). METHODS: We conducted a cohort study of infants who survived HIE and had 18-22 mo standardized neurodevelopmental evaluations to assess associations between disability and the APOE genotypes e3/e3, e4/-, and e2/-. RESULTS: A total of 139 survivors were genotyped. Of these, 86 (62%) were of the e3/e3, 41 (29%) were of the e4/-, and 14 (10%) were of the e2/- genotypes. One hundred and twenty-nine infants had genotype and follow-up data; 26% had moderate or severe disabilities. Disability prevalence was 30 and 19% among those with and without the e3/e3 genotype, 25 and 26% among those with and without the e2 allele, and 18 and 29% among those with and without the e4 allele, respectively. None of the differences were statistically significant. CP prevalence was also similar among genotype groups. CONCLUSION: Disability was not associated with the APOE genotype in this cohort of HIE survivors.