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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 May;132(1):76-82. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Long-term neurodevelopmental outcome of triplets.

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  • 1Department of Perinatal Medicine, School of Medicine, Petrova 13, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.



To analyze the incidence of neurodevelopmental disabilities in triplets and to find out possible connection between the outcome and perinatal events.


Retrospective cohort study of 94 triplets and their outcome at 24-144 months of age correlated with gestational age, birth weight, pregnancy complications, early neonatal period, neonatal cranial ultrasound, period of birth (1985-1995, 1996-2000) and type of antenatal care.


Sixty-two triplets are healthy, 15 suffer cerebral palsy (CP) and 17 minimal cerebral dysfunction (MCD). Adverse outcome correlates significantly with prematurity, low birth weight and maternal age. In multivariate analysis, both cerebral palsy and minor disabilities correlate significantly with early neonatal complications, neonatal cranial ultrasound with later CP (p<0.01), and MCD with preterm rupture of membranes (p=0.047). Children conceived spontaneously do worse than those born after assisted reproduction (p=0.004), those born in the time period 1996-2000 do better than those born before (p=0.021). Seventy-seven percent (77%) of newborns delivered in the time period 1996-2000 and after level 1 antenatal care was introduced, compared with 54% being delivered in the time period before 1996 and with less meticulous types of antenatal care, remain healthy (p=0.015).


Triplets are still at high risk for long-term neurodevelopmental complications. Stringent perinatal care might appear important determinant of their long-term outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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