FIGURE 6-3. Comparative gestational ages at critical maturational steps in fetal development among different species relevant to neonatal morbidity.

FIGURE 6-3

Comparative gestational ages at critical maturational steps in fetal development among different species relevant to neonatal morbidity. Vertical arrows indicate when lung alveolar development or preoligodendrocyte development (oligodendrocytes are responsible for myelination) begins. This schema indicates that maturation of the lungs and cerebrum, two organs with important contributions to neonatal morbidity and mortality, in sheep and nonhuman primates most closely parallel development in humans. In contrast, rabbits and rodents experience equivalent maturational sequences only near term or postnatally, limiting their role in ascertaining the relationships among the causes of prematurity and its consequences.

From: 6, Biological Pathways Leading to Preterm Birth

Cover of Preterm Birth
Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes; Behrman RE, Butler AS, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2007.
Copyright © 2007, National Academy of Sciences.

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