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Arch Med Res. 2001 Jan-Feb;32(1):66-9.

Neonatal outcome of children born to women with tuberculosis.

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Hospital de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Centro Médico Nacional La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), and Departamento de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Perinatología (INPer), Mexico City, Mexico.



As the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) has increased worldwide, it is expected that pregnant women will acquire this infection more frequently. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection during pregnancy may represent a risk for maternal and neonatal complications.


We studied the perinatal events of 35 consecutive pregnancies complicated by TB from March 1990 to June 1998; 105 apparently healthy pregnant women were included as controls, matched in age, gestational age upon arrival at the Institute, and socioeconomic status. Frequency and type of neonatal complications were recorded. Relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated. To control potentially confounding variables, a stratified analysis was performed.


Seventeen (48.5%) tuberculous mothers had a pulmonary infection and 18 (51.5%), an extrapulmonar localization of the TB. The neonatal morbidity rate in children born to women with TB was 23% against 3.8% of the children of the control cohort (p <0.05). Average weight of newborn infants of tuberculous mothers was 2,859 +/- 78.5 g, while average weight at birth of control neonates was 3,099 +/- 484 g (p = 0.03). Newborns of women with TB had a higher risk of prematurity (RR 2.1; 95% CI 1-4.3), perinatal death (RR 3.1; 95% CI 1.6-6), and weight at birth less than 2,500 g (RR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1-4.9). Pulmonary localization of the TB and late start of the treatment in the mothers increase the risk of perinatal death and neonatal morbidity.


Children born to women with TB have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality in the neonatal period.

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