In this study, the diagnostic and predictive value of brainstem, middle latency, and cortical auditory evoked responses (BMC-AERs) obtained in the neonatal period in 81 preterm infants was assessed in relation to neurodevelopmental outcome. The preterm infants were neonatally classified according to risk category and gestational age. The BMC-AERs were analyzed with respect to detectability, latencies, and amplitudes as well as derived latency and amplitude measures. At 5 y of age the neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed from neurologic and neuropsychologic evaluations. The results showed that BMC-AER differences mainly correlated with risk category (low risk/high risk) and to some extent with degree of prematurity. In view of these findings the degree of prematurity and the effect of risk category have to be taken into account, when BMC-AERs are applied in the preterm period to predict neurodevelopmental outcome. In this study the BMC-AERs for infants with abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome were scarcely distinguishable from the BMC-AERs for infants with normal neurodevelopmental outcome. Thus far, this and previous reports have indicated that BMC-AERs in preterm infants are useful in maturational studies and with infants showing symptoms related to lesions or dysfunction of the peripheral and/or central auditory system. For predicting neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants, BMC-AERs are of limited clinical value.