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Iran J Pediatr. 2013 Oct;23(5):579-87.

Outcome of very low birth weight infants over 3 years report from an Iranian center.

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Mahdieh Medical Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran.



Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants are at high risk for morbidity and mortality. This article determines the frequency of disease, rate od survival, complications and risk factors for morbidity and mortality in VLBW neonates admitted to a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mahdieh Hospital in Tehran.


This cross-sectional retrospective study was performed from April 2007 to March 2010 on all hospitalized VLBW neonates. Relevant pre- and peri-natal data up to the time of discharge from the hospital or death, including complications during the course of hospitalization, were collected from the case notes, documented on a pre-designed questionnaire and analyzed.


Out of 13197 neonates, 564 (4.3%) were VLBW with 51.4% males. Mean gestational age was 29.6±2.5 weeks; mean birth weight 1179±257 grams. Mean birth weight, gestational age and Apgar scores were significantly higher in babies who survived than in those who died, (1275±189 vs. 944±253 grams; 30.5±2.2 vs. 27.5±2 weeks and 6.9±1.7 vs. 5±2.1 respectively, P<0.001 in all instances). Overall survival was 70.9%; in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) newborns this figure was 33.3% rising to 84.1% in infants weighing between 1001-1500 grams. Respiratory failure resulting from RDS in ELBW babies was the major factor leading to death. Need for mechanical ventilation, pulmonary hemorrhage and gastro-intestinal bleeding were also significant predictive factors for mortality.


Birth weight and mechanical ventilation are the major factors predicting VLBW survival.


Infant; Low Birth Weight; NICU; Neonatal Mortality; Risk Factors; Very Low Birth Weight


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