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Acta Paediatr. 2004 Aug;93(8):1081-9.

Short-term outcome after active perinatal management at 23-25 weeks of gestation. A study from two Swedish tertiary care centres. Part 2: infant survival.

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Department of Paediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



To determine neonatal survival rates based on both foetal (stillborn) and neonatal deaths among infants delivered at 23-25 wk, and to identify maternal and neonatal factors associated with survival.


The medical records of 224 infants who were delivered in two tertiary care centres in 1992-1998 were reviewed retrospectively. At these centres, policies of active perinatal and neonatal management were universally applied. Data were analysed by gestational age groups and considered in three time periods. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with survival.


The rate of foetal death was 5%. Of infants born alive, 63% survived to discharge. Survival rates including foetal deaths in the denominator at 23, 24 and 25 wk were 37%, 61% and 74%, respectively, and survival rates excluding foetal deaths were 43%, 63% and 77%, respectively. Of infants born with 1-min Apgar scores of 0-1, 43% survived. In the total cohort, survival rates including foetal deaths in the denominator increased from 52% in time period 1 to 61% in time period 2 and 74% in time period 3 (p < 0.02). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher birthweight (OR: 1.91 per 100 g increment; 95% CI: 1.45-2.52), female gender (OR: 3.33; 95% CI: 1.65-6.75), administration of antenatal steroids (OR: 2.95; 95% CI: 1.46-5.98) and intrauterine referral from a peripheral hospital (OR: 2.35; 95% CI: 1.18-4.68) were associated with survival. Apgar score < or = 3 at 1 min (OR: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.22-0.95) was associated with decreased survival. The use of antenatal steroids was protective at 23-24 wk (OR: 5.2; 95% CI: 2.0-13.7), but not at 25 wk.


Active perinatal management that included universal initiation of neonatal intensive care virtually eliminated intrapartum stillbirths and delivery room deaths, and resulted in survival rates that compare favourably with those of recent studies. However, the policies of active care postponed death in non-survivors. Individual variations in outcome in relation to the infant's condition at birth as reflected by the Apgar scores preclude the making of treatment decisions in the delivery room.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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