In a 2002–2004 prospective cohort study of deliveries of infants at <28 weeks at 14 US centers, the authors sought the antecedents of white matter damage evident in newborn cranial ultrasound scans (ventriculomegaly and an echolucent lesion) and of cerebral palsy diagnoses at age 2 years. Of the 1,455 infants enrolled, those whose mothers received an antenatal steroid tended to have lower risks of ventriculomegaly and an echolucent lesion than their peers (10% vs. 23%, P<0.001 and 7% vs. 11%, P=0.06, respectively). Risk of ventriculomegaly was increased for infants delivered because of preterm labor (adjusted odds ratio (OR)=2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 4.9), preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes (OR=3.6, 95% CI: 1.5, 8.7), and cervical insufficiency (OR=2.8, 95% CI: 1.4, 5.5) when compared with infants delivered because of preeclampsia. Risk of an echolucent lesion was increased for infants delivered because of preterm labor (OR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 5.7) and intrauterine growth retardation (OR=3.3, 95% CI: 1.2, 9.4). The doubling of diparesis risk associated with preterm labor and with preterm premature rupture of fetal membranes did not achieve statistical significance, nor did the doubling of quadriparesis risk and the tripling of diparesis risk associated with cervical insufficiency.
Keywords: cerebral palsy, cervix uteri, fetal membranes, premature rupture, infant, premature, leukomalacia, periventricular, obstetric labor, preterm, pre-eclampsia, steroids