OBJECTIVE: To determine if selected pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and/or mediators of inflammation reported to be related to the development of cerebral palsy (CP) predict neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely low birth weight infants. STUDY DESIGN: Infants with birth weights ≤1000 g (n = 1067) had blood samples collected at birth and on days 3 ± 1, 7 ± 1, 14 ± 3, and 21 ± 3 to examine the association between cytokines and neurodevelopmental outcomes. The analyses were focused on 5 cytokines (interleukin [IL] 1β; IL-8; tumor necrosis factor-α; regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed, and secreted (RANTES); and IL-2) reported to be most predictive of CP in term and late preterm infants. RESULTS: IL-8 was higher on days 0-4 and subsequently in infants who developed CP compared with infants who did not develop CP in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Other cytokines (IL-12, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor-β, soluble IL rα, macrophage inflammatory protein 1β) were found to be altered on days 0-4 in infants who developed CP. CONCLUSIONS: CP in former preterm infants may, in part, have a late perinatal and/or early neonatal inflammatory origin.