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Early Hum Dev. 2014 Feb;90(2):99-101. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.12.002. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

Pre-eclampsia- an additional risk factor for cognitive impairment at school age after intrauterine growth restriction and very preterm birth.

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Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. Electronic address:
Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.



To explore the possible influence of pre-eclampsia on cognitive outcome in children born very preterm after intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and abnormal umbilical artery blood flow.


Cognitive function was evaluated at 5-8 years of age with Wechsler scales in 34 children born before 30 gestational weeks after IUGR (PT-IUGR) (11 children were exposed to maternal pre-eclampsia, 23 non-exposed) and in 34 children with no maternal pre-eclampsia and birth weight appropriate-for-gestational age (PT-AGA) matched for gestational age at birth, gender and age at examination.


The subjects in the PT-IUGR group exposed to maternal pre-eclampsia had lower mean verbal IQ (VIQ) (mean ± SD 74 ± 16) and lower full scale IQ (FSIQ) (70 ± 19) in comparison with both the non-exposed PT-IUGR (VIQ 89 ± 15; p=0.013; FSIQ 83 ± 14, p=0.029), and, the PT-AGA group (VIQ 96 ± 15, p<0.001; FSIQ 90 ± 14, p=0.001). The differences remained significant after adjustment for known confounders. VIQ and FSIQ did not differ between the non-exposed IUGR and PT-AGA children.


Fetal exposure to maternal pre-eclampsia seems to have an additional negative impact to that of IUGR on cognitive function in children born very preterm.


Cognitive outcome; Intrauterine growth restriction; Pre-eclampsia; Umbilical blood flow; Very preterm birth

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