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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2001 Dec 1;99(2):207-12.

Perinatal risk factors for adverse neurodevelopmental outcome after spontaneous preterm birth.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Diaconessenhuis Meppel, Meppel, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to investigate to what extend perinatal factors contribute to the neurodevelopmental outcome in a group neonates born after spontaneous preterm labour with or without prolonged rupture of the membranes (PROM).


In a cohort of neonates born after the spontaneous onset of labour with or without PROM before 34 weeks of gestation a stepwise forward logistic regression was performed to analyse the influence of antenatal and postnatal variables on adverse outcome. Adverse neurodevelopmental outcome was defined as a Griffith's developmental score <85, cerebral palsy, a major disability or perinatal death associated with severe cerebral damage.


The study group consisted of 185 neonates. Seven neonates died with severe cerebral damage. After a forward logistic regression analysis three factors appeared to have an independent influence: gestational age protected against an adverse outcome (odds ratio (OR) per day increase 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-0.97) while abnormal cranial ultrasound (intraventricular haemorrhage and periventricular leucomalacia) (OR 6.33, 95% CI 2.16-18.52) and the need for a second course of antibiotics (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.02-3.33) increased the risk for adverse outcome. Comparing the group with a normal neurodevelopmental outcome with those with cerebral palsy, cranial ultrasound abnormalities were independently associated with cerebral palsy (OR 48.75, 95% CI 11.78-201.76).


The most important way of preventing neurological damage in infants is to increase gestational age at birth and to avoid the development of intraventricular haemorrhage and periventricular leucomalacia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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