Mild cerebral injury might cause subtle defects in cognitive function that are only detectable as the child grows older. Our aim was to determine whether infants receiving resuscitation after birth, but with no symptoms of encephalopathy, have reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in childhood.
Three groups of infants were selected from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children: infants who were resuscitated at birth but were asymptomatic for encephalopathy and had no further neonatal care (n=815), those who were resuscitated and had neonatal care for symptoms of encephalopathy (n=58), and the reference group who were not resuscitated, were asymptomatic for encephalopathy, and had no further neonatal care (n=10 609). Cognitive function was assessed at a mean age of 8·6 years (SD 0·33); a low IQ score was defined as less than 80. IQ scores were obtained for 5953 children with a shortened version of the Weschler intelligence scale for children (WISC-III), the remaining 5529 were non-responders. All children did not complete all parts of the test, and therefore multiplied IQ values comparable to the full-scale test were only available for 5887 children. Results were adjusted for clinical and social covariates. Chained equations were used to impute missing values of covariates.
In the main analysis at 8 years of age (n=5887), increased risk of a low IQ score was recorded in both resuscitated infants asymptomatic for encephalopathy (odds ratio 1·65 [95% CI 1·13–2·43]) and those with symptoms of encephalopathy (6·22 [1·57–24·65]). However, the population of asymptomatic infants was larger than that of infants with encephalopathy, and therefore the population attributable risk fraction for an IQ score that might be attributable to the need for resuscitation at birth was 3·4% (95% CI 0·5–6·3) for asymptomatic infants and 1·2% (0·2–2·2) for those who developed encephalopathy.
Infants who were resuscitated had increased risk of a low IQ score, even if they remained healthy during the neonatal period. Resuscitated infants asymptomatic for encephalopathy might result in a larger proportion of adults with low IQs than do those who develop neurological symptoms consistent with encephalopathy.
To investigate whether infants with weight faltering have impaired psychosocial and educational outcomes in later childhood.
Follow-up of infants with weight faltering in a large UK cohort study.
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
11 534 term infants from ALSPAC with complete weight records. Weight gain (conditional on initial weight) was calculated for three periods: from birth to 8 weeks, 8 weeks to 9 months, and birth to 9 months. Cases of weight faltering were defined as those infants with a conditional weight gain below the 5th centile, and these were compared with the rest of the cohort as the control group.
Between 6 and 11 years, social, emotional and behavioural development was measured by direct assessment of the children and parental and teacher report. Educational outcomes included Standardised Assessment Test results at 7 and 11 years and Special Educational Needs status at age 11.
Differences seen on univariate analysis in attention, non-verbal accuracy, educational attainment and special educational needs became non-significant after adjustment for confounding. Children with weight faltering in infancy did not differ from controls on any measures of self-esteem, peer relationships, experience of bullying, social cognition, antisocial activities, anxiety, depression or behavioural problems.
Weight faltering in early infancy was associated with poorer educational outcomes in later childhood, but these associations were explained by confounding. The subsequent psychosocial development of infants with slow weight gain was not different from that of their peers.
growth faltering; behaviour; ALSPAC
To investigate if the lack of gestational age correction may explain some of the school failure seen in ex-preterm infants.
A cohort study based on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). The primary outcome was a low Key Stage 1 score (KS1) score at age 7 or having special educational needs (SEN). Exposure groups were defined as preterm (<37 weeks gestation, n = 722) or term (37–42 weeks, n = 11,268). Conditional regression models were derived, matching preterm to term infants on date of birth (DOB), expected date of delivery (EDD) or expected date of delivery and year of school entry. Multiple imputation was used to account for missing covariate data.
When matching for DOB, infants born preterm had an increased odds of a low KS1 score (OR 1.73 (1.45–2.06)) and this association persisted after adjusting for potential confounders (OR 1.57 (1.25–1.97)). The association persisted in the analysis matching for EDD (fully adjusted OR 1.53 (1.21–1.94)) but attenuated substantially after additionally restricting to those infants who entered school at the same time as the control infants (fully adjusted OR 1.25 (0.98–1.60)). A compatible reduction in the population attributable risk fraction was seen from 4.60% to 2.12%, and year of school entry appeared to modify the association between gestational age and the risk of a poor KS1 score (p = 0.029).
This study provides evidence that the school year placement and assessment of ex-preterm infants based on their actual birthday (rather than their EDD) may increase their risk of learning difficulties with corresponding school failure.
The authors had previously found flaws in resuscitation after severe neonatal asphyxia in cases selected on the grounds of suspected malpractice and financial compensation claims. The aim of the present study was to evaluate neonatal resuscitation in the general obstetric population in a setting with skilled attendance at birth.
Setting and patients
All infants born in the Stockholm County during 2004–2006 with a gestational age of ≥33 weeks, planned as vaginal delivery, with a normal cardiotocographic recording on admission to hospital and with an Apgar score of <7 at 5 min were included.
Main outcome measures
Adherence to guidelines for neonatal resuscitation.
Documentation was unsatisfactory in 142 (45%) infants. Other important shortcomings identified were delayed initiation of extensive resuscitation due to late paging or late arrival of attending paediatrician/neonatologist (n=48), and unsatisfactory ventilation related to late intubation and late securing of free airway (n=15).
Substandard care in neonatal resuscitation is not limited to cases of severe asphyxia related to claims for medical malpractice. The overall documentation of neonatal resuscitation needs to be much better to enable accurate and reliable evaluation. Obvious actions to improve standards of care include the paging of skilled personnel at an earlier stage in cases of complicated deliveries and team and skills training in neonatal ventilation.
To determine whether resuscitation of infants who failed to develop effective breathing at birth increases survivors with neurodevelopmental impairment.
Infants unresponsive to stimulation who received bag and mask ventilation at birth in a resuscitation trial and infants who did not require any resuscitation were randomized to early neurodevelopmental intervention or control. Infants were evaluated by trained neurodevelopmental evaluators masked to both their resuscitation history and intervention group. The 12-month neurodevelopmental outcome data for both resuscitated and non-resuscitated infants randomized to the control groups are reported.
The study provided no evidence of a difference between the resuscitated (N = 86) and the non-resuscitated infants (N = 115) in the percentage of infants at 12 months with a mental developmental index < 85 on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II (primary outcome) (18% versus 12%; p = 0.22) and in other neurodevelopmental outcomes.
The overwhelming majority of infants who received resuscitation with bag and mask ventilation at birth have 12-month neurodevelopmental outcomes in the normal range. Longer follow-up is needed because of increased risk for neurodevelopmental impairments.
Resuscitation; intellectual disability; low and middle income countries; neonatal mortality; infant mortality; developmental outcome
Preterm infants are frequently transfused with red blood cells based on standardized guidelines or clinical concern that anemia taxes infants’ physiological compensatory mechanisms and thereby threatens their health and well-being. The impact of various transfusion guidelines on long-term neurocognitive outcome is not known. The purpose of this study is to evaluate long-term neurocognitive outcome on children born prematurely and treated at birth with different transfusion guidelines.
Neurocognitive outcomes were examined at school age for 56 preterm infants randomly assigned to a liberal (n = 33) or restrictive (n = 23) transfusion strategy. Tests of intelligence, achievement, language, visual-spatial/motor, and memory skills were administered. Between-group differences were assessed.
Those in the liberal transfusion group performed more poorly than those in the restrictive group on measures of associative verbal fluency, visual memory, and reading.
Findings highlight possible long-term neurodevelopmental consequences of maintaining higher hematocrit levels.
Preterm; Neuropsychology; Red Blood Cell Transfusion; Hematocrit; Longitudinal
One hundred and five infants treated with adrenaline or atropine, or both, as part of resuscitation on 124 occasions were studied retrospectively. Adrenaline was administered to 98 infants, in 40 of whom it was in combination with atropine, and seven infants received atropine alone. Twenty infants were treated solely on the delivery unit, 81 on the neonatal medical unit, and four in both places. Twelve infants treated on the delivery unit and 13 treated on the neonatal unit survived. Follow up studies showed that 13 infants were handicapped with nine severely handicapped. Extreme prematurity, the need for early or repeated resuscitation using these drugs, particularly for episodes of collapse without a clear precipitating cause, and asystole rather than bradycardia were associated with a worse outcome. Evidence is accumulating to support a view that the use of these drugs for resuscitation at birth and in the first week of life of extremely preterm infants may be inappropriate.
Death or severe disability is so common following an Apgar score of 0 at 10 minutes in observational studies that the Neonatal Resuscitation Program suggests considering discontinuation of resuscitation after 10 minutes of effective CPR.
To determine if Apgar scores at 10 minutes are associated with death or disability in early childhood following perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Design, Setting, and Patients
This is a secondary analysis of infants enrolled in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network hypothermia trial. Infants ≥ 36 weeks gestation had clinical and/or biochemical abnormalities at birth, and encephalopathy at < 6 hours. Logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to determine associations between Apgar scores at 10 minutes and neurodevelopmental outcome adjusting for covariates. Associations are expressed as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).
Main Outcome Measure
Death or disability (moderate or severe) at 18–22 months of age.
Twenty of 208 infants were excluded (missing data). More than 90% of infants had Apgar scores of 0–2 at 1 minute and Apgars at 5 and 10 minutes shifted to progressively higher values; at 10 minutes 27% of infants had Apgar scores of 0–2. After adjustment each point decrease in Apgar score at 10 minutes was associated with a 45% increase in the odds of death or disability (OR 1.45, CI 1.22–1.72). Death or disability occurred in 76, 82 and 80% of infants with Apgar scores at 10 minutes of 0, 1 and 2, respectively. CART analysis indicated that Apgar scores at 10 minutes were discriminators of outcome.
Apgar scores at 10 minutes provide useful prognostic data before other evaluations are available for infants with HIE. Death or moderate/severe disability is common but not uniform with Apgar scores < 3; caution is needed before adopting a specific time interval to guide duration of resuscitation.
Apgar scores; Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy; cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Multidisciplinary study groups have produced documents in an attempt to support decisions regarding whether to resuscitate "at risk" newborns or not. Moreover, there has been an increasingly insistent request for juridical regulation of neonatal resuscitation practices as well as for clarification of the role of parents in decisions regarding this kind of assistance. The crux of the matter is whether strict guidelines, reference standards based on the parameter of gestational age and authority rules are necessary.
The Italian scenario reflects the current animated debate, illustrating the difficulty intrinsic in rigid guidelines on the subject, especially when gestational age is taken as a reference parameter for the medical decision.
Concerning the decision to interrupt or not to initiate resuscitation procedures on low gestational age newborns, physicians do not need rigid rules based on inflexible gestational age and birth weight guidelines. Guidance in addressing the difficult and trying issues associated with infants born at the margins of viability with a realistic assessment of the infant's clinical condition must be based on the infant's best interests, with clinicians and parents entering into what has been described as a "partnership of care".
Neonatal Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in full term infants has been associated with a high risk for morbidity and mortality. The patho-physiology of brain injury following hypoxia-ischemia, noted in preclinical models, is a cascade of events resulting from excitotoxic and oxidative injury culminating in cell death. Hypothermia has been noted to be protective by inhibiting various events in the cascade of injury. Major randomized clinical trials in neonatal HIE have demonstrated reduction in death and disability and continued safety and efficacy of neuroprotection in childhood. There is now clinical and imaging evidence for hypothermia as neuroprotection. Hypothermia should be offered to term infants with either severe acidosis at birth or resuscitation needing continued ventilation and evidence of either moderate or severe encephalopathy within 6 hours of birth. The target temperature should be 33° to 34 °C and duration of cooling should be 72 hours, as per the published trials. Rewarming should be slow, at 0.5 °C per hour. Infants should have serial neurological examinations during and at the end of cooling and at discharge. Multiorgan function should be supported and hypocarbia should be avoided during ventilator therapy. If available, the amplitude integrated EEG should be obtained prior to cooling and following rewarming. All infants should have magnetic resonance brain imaging studies within 1 to 2 weeks of age. Information from the neurological examination, aEEG and MRI studies will be helpful in discussing prognosis with parents. All infants should be followed for a minimum of 18 months to evaluate growth parameters and neurodevelopment al outcome.
Therapeutic hypothermia; Neonatal encephalopathy; Term infants; Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; Pathophysiology; Neurodevelopmental outcome; Neuroprotection; Head cooling; Whole body cooling; Randomized controlled trials; Knowledge gaps; Adjuvant therapies; Treatment
Apgar score was devised with the aim to standardize the assessment of newborns. It has been used worldwide to evaluate infants’ condition immediately after birth, to determine their need for resuscitation, and to evaluate the effectiveness of resuscitation. Apgar score was never intended for prediction of outcome beyond the immediate postnatal period; however, since low scores correlate with prenatal and perinatal adversities, multiple studies have examined the relation between the value of Apgar score and duration of low (<7) Apgar score and subsequent death or neurologic disability. This article reviews such studies. The author concludes that the overall evidence shows consistent association of low Apgar scores with increased risks of neonatal and infant death and with neurologic disability, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive impairment. Dose-response patterns have been shown for the value of Apgar score and duration of low score and the outcomes of mortality and neurologic disability. The association of Apgar score <7 at five minutes with increased risks of neurologic disability seems to persist many years postnatally. Some corresponding relative risk estimates are large (eg, four to seven for epilepsy or more than 20 for cerebral palsy), while others are modest (eg, 1.33 for impaired cognitive function). The absolute risks, however, are low (<5% in for most neurologic conditions), and majority of surviving babies with low Apgar scores grow up without disability. The low magnitude of absolute risks makes Apgar score a poor clinical predictor of long-term outcome. Nevertheless, the observed associations point to the importance of fetal and perinatal periods for neurodevelopment.
Apgar score; epidemiology; neonatal death; neurologic disorders
A hypoxic-ischaemic insult occurring around the time of birth may result in an encephalopathic state characterised by the need for resuscitation at birth, neurological depression, seizures and electroencephalographic abnormalities. There is an increasing risk of death or neurodevelopmental abnormalities with more severe encephalopathy. Current management consists of maintaining physiological parameters within the normal range and treating seizures with anticonvulsants.
Studies in adult and newborn animals have shown that a reduction of body temperature of 3–4°C after cerebral insults is associated with improved histological and behavioural outcome. Pilot studies in infants with encephalopathy of head cooling combined with mild whole body hypothermia and of moderate whole body cooling to 33.5°C have been reported. No complications were noted but the group sizes were too small to evaluate benefit.
TOBY is a multi-centre, prospective, randomised study of term infants after perinatal asphyxia comparing those allocated to "intensive care plus total body cooling for 72 hours" with those allocated to "intensive care without cooling".
Full-term infants will be randomised within 6 hours of birth to either a control group with the rectal temperature kept at 37 +/- 0.2°C or to whole body cooling, with rectal temperature kept at 33–34°C for 72 hours. Term infants showing signs of moderate or severe encephalopathy +/- seizures have their eligibility confirmed by cerebral function monitoring. Outcomes will be assessed at 18 months of age using neurological and neurodevelopmental testing methods.
At least 236 infants would be needed to demonstrate a 30% reduction in the relative risk of mortality or serious disability at 18 months.
Recruitment was ahead of target by seven months and approvals were obtained allowing recruitment to continue to the end of the planned recruitment phase. 325 infants were recruited.
Combined rate of mortality and severe neurodevelopmental impairment in survivors at 18 months of age. Neurodevelopmental impairment will be defined as any of:
• Bayley mental developmental scale score less than 70
• Gross Motor Function Classification System Levels III – V
• Bilateral cortical visual impairments
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89547571
This case-control study investigated the potential association between ambient levels of carbon monoxide in a pregnant woman's neighborhood of residence and her chance of delivering a low birth weight infant. Low birth weight infants and normal birth weight infants were contrasted with respect to ambient levels of CO during the 3 months prior to delivery in the neighborhoods where their mothers lived at birth. After adjustment for the confounding effects of maternal race and education, there was no association between higher CO exposure and higher odds of low birth weight. These data do not support a strong association between maternal exposure to neighborhood CO during pregnancy and odds of delivering a low birth weight infant. Further investigation of the effects of CO exposure on birth weight, with direct measurement of total CO exposure, is needed.
To estimate the relationship between severity of prenatal cocaine exposure and expressive and receptive language skills in full-term, African American children at age 3 years.
Language was assessed at age 3 using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Preschool (CELF-P). The sample included 424 children (226 cocaine exposed, 198 non–cocaine exposed) who received preschool language assessments at age 3, drawn from a cohort of 476 children enrolled prospectively at birth.
Structural equation modeling was used to regress expressive and receptive language as intercorrelated response variables on level of prenatal cocaine exposure, measured by a latent construct including maternal self-report of cocaine use and maternal/infant urine toxicology assays and infant meconium. Results indicated a .168 SD decrease in expressive language functioning for every unit increase in exposure level (95% CI = −.320, −.015; p = .031) after consideration for fetal growth and gestational age as correlated response variables. Receptive language was more modestly related to prenatal cocaine exposure and was not statistically significant. Results for expressive language remained stable with inclusion of the McCarthy general cognitive index as a response variable (expressive language β = −.173, 95% CI = −.330, −.016; p = .031), and with adjustment for maternal age and prenatal exposures to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (expressive language β = −.175, 95% CI = −.347, −.003; p = .046). Additional child and caregiver environmental variables assessed at age 3 were also evaluated in varying statistical models with similar results.
The evidence from this study supports a gradient relationship between increased level of prenatal cocaine exposure and decreased expressive language functioning in preschool-aged cocaine-exposed children.
prenatal cocaine exposure; language functioning; preschool children; CELF-P
An early clinical score predicting an abnormal amplitude-integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) or moderate-severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) may allow rapid triage of infants for therapeutic hypothermia. We aimed to determine if early clinical examination could predict either an abnormal aEEG at age 6 hours or moderate-severe HIE presenting within 72 hours of birth.
Sixty infants ≥ 36 weeks gestational age were prospectively enrolled following suspected intrapartum hypoxia and signs of encephalopathy. Infants who were moribund, had congenital conditions that could contribute to the encephalopathy or had severe cardio-respiratory instability were excluded. Predictive values of the Thompson HIE score, modified Sarnat encephalopathy grade (MSEG) and specific individual signs at age 3–5 hours were calculated.
All of the 60 infants recruited had at least one abnormal primitive reflex. Visible seizures and hypotonia at 3–5 hours were strongly associated with an abnormal 6-hour aEEG (specificity 88% and 92%, respectively), but both had a low sensitivity (47% and 33%, respectively). Overall, 52% of the infants without hypotonia at 3–5 hours had an abnormal 6-hour aEEG. Twelve of the 29 infants (41%) without decreased level of consciousness at 3–5 hours had an abnormal 6-hour aEEG (sensitivity 67%; specificity 71%). A Thompson score ≥ 7 and moderate-severe MSEG at 3–5 hours, both predicted an abnormal 6-hour aEEG (sensitivity 100 vs. 97% and specificity 67 vs. 71% respectively). Both assessments predicted moderate-severe encephalopathy within 72 hours after birth (sensitivity 90%, vs. 88%, specificity 92% vs. 100%). The 6-hour aEEG predicted moderate-severe encephalopathy within 72 hours (sensitivity 75%, specificity 100%) but with lower sensitivity (p = 0.0156) than the Thompson score (sensitivity 90%, specificity 92%). However, all infants with a normal 3- and 6-hour aEEG with moderate-severe encephalopathy within 72 hours who were not cooled had a normal 24-hour aEEG.
The encephalopathy assessment described by the Thompson score at age 3–5 hours is a sensitive predictor of either an abnormal 6-hour aEEG or moderate-severe encephalopathy presenting within 72 hours after birth. An early Thompson score may be useful to assist with triage and selection of infants for therapeutic hypothermia.
Asphyxia; Neonate; Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; Electroencephalogram; aEEG; Prognostic
A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the weight status and the relationship of infant-feeding variables, birthweight and birth order with BMI in a group of Iranian children. Five hundred and eleven students of both sexes at the first grade in elementary schools (aged 7 years) were recruited randomly from all 19 educational districts of Tehran. Weights and heights of children and their mothers were measured. Data on breastfeeding (BF), formula-feeding, the timing of introduction of complementary foods (CF), birthweight, and birth order were collected from the mothers. The 2007 WHO reference value was used for determining child's weight status. Regression analysis in single and a 2-level linear regression models was used for examining the independent relationships of infant-feeding variables, birthweight and birth order with childhood BMI. The prevalence of underweight and overweight in this group of children was 7.6% and 19.7%, respectively. Total time of BF and duration of exclusive BF were not associated with childhood BMI. The timing of introduction of CF was inversely related to childhood BMI after controlling for other variables (β:-0.34; 95% CI:-0.58,-0.10). Children with an early introduction of CF had significantly higher mean BMI (p for linear trend=0.012). Birth order and birthweight were related to childhood BMI significantly. These data suggest that overweight and obesity are nutritional problems among 7 years old Teharani children. The timing of introduction of CF, birth order, and birthweight were independent predictors of childhood BMI. Neither total time of BF nor duration of exclusive breastfeeding was associated with adiposity in children.
Birthweight; Breastfeeding; Childhood; Infant-feeding; Introduction of complementary feeding; Obesity; Iran
An analysis of personnel and facilities used for transfer of sick newborn infants to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto during the months November 1971 and February to April 1972 showed many deficiencies. In many instances severely ill patients were accompanied by inadequately trained staff, transport incubators were either inadequate to maintain the babies' temperatures or were used inappropriately, resuscitation facilities were not available and oxygen concentrations could neither be measured nor varied as desired.
Infants who weighed less than 1500 g. at birth and who died following transfer had significantly lower mean body temperatures on arrival at the referral hospital than those who survived. Mean transport incubator temperatures were too low in all groups of infants but were lower in those who died, although the difference was not statistically significant.
Adopted children are more likely to develop learning and school adjustment problems than are their non-adopted peers, despite the fact that learning potential appears to be comparable in the two groups. In an effort to explain this phenomenon, the present study examined cognitive behavior repertoires in healthy 5-month-old first infants and their mothers during their normal daily routine in families by adoption and by birth. Two areas of functioning, vocal/verbal communication and exploration, were examined. Infants and mothers in both groups were similar in the frequency and ranking of a full array of age-appropriate cognitive behaviors. Both groups of babies experienced rich and comparable opportunities for the development of language competence. In the exploratory realm, group differences emerged for some infant measures; infants by birth were in an alert state and mouthed objects more than infants by adoption. Examination of the linkages among infant behaviors and between mothers and infants suggested that, while mothers by birth and adoption provided comparable opportunities for exploration, infants by birth were engaging in exploratory behavior to a somewhat greater extent.
Dilemmas about resuscitation and life-prolonging treatment for severely compromised infants have become increasingly complex as skills in neonatal care have developed. Quality of life and resource issues necessarily influence management. Our Institute of Medical Ethics working party, on whose behalf this paper is written, recognises that the ultimate responsibility for the final decision rests with the doctor in clinical charge of the infant. However, we advocate a team approach to decision-making, emphasising the important role of parents and nurses in the process. Assessing the relative burdens and benefits can be troubling, but doctors and parents need to retain a measure of discretion; legislation which would determine action in all cases is inappropriate. Caution should be exercised in involving committees in decision-making and, where they exist, their remit should remain to advise rather than to decide. Support for families who bear the consequences of their decisions is often inadequate, and facilitating access to such services is part of the wider responsibilities of the intensive care team. The authors believe that allowing death by withholding or withdrawing treatment is legitimate, where those closely involved in the care of the infant together deem the burdens to be unacceptable without compensating benefits for the infant. As part of the process accurate and careful recording is essential.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental toxins. Although there is growing evidence to support an association between PCBs and deficits of neurodevelopment, the specific mechanisms are not well understood. The potentially different roles of specific PCB groups defined by chemical structures or hormonal activities e.g., dioxin-like, non-dioxin like, or anti-estrogenic PCBs, remain unclear. Our objective was to examine the association between prenatal exposure to defined subsets of PCBs and neurodevelopment in a cohort of infants in eastern Slovakia enrolled at birth in 2002-2004.
Maternal and cord serum samples were collected at delivery, and analyzed for PCBs using high-resolution gas chromatography. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development -II (BSID) were administered at 16 months of age to over 750 children who also had prenatal PCB measurements.
Based on final multivariate-adjusted linear regression model, maternal mono-ortho-substituted PCBs were significantly associated with lower scores on both the psychomotor (PDI) and mental development indices (MDI). Also a significant association between cord mono-ortho-substituted PCBs and reduced PDI was observed, but the association with MDI was marginal (p = 0.05). Anti-estrogenic and di-ortho-substituted PCBs did not show any statistically significant association with cognitive scores, but a suggestive association between di-ortho-substituted PCBs measured in cord serum and poorer PDI was observed.
Children with higher prenatal mono-ortho-substituted PCB exposures performed more poorly on the Bayley Scales. Evidence from this and other studies suggests that prenatal dioxin-like PCB exposure, including mono-ortho congeners, may interfere with brain development in utero. Non-dioxin-like di-ortho-substituted PCBs require further investigation.
Hashimoto's encephalopathy is considered as a treatable dementia, but it is often misdiagnosed. We investigated cognitive impairment and the MRI pathology of Hashimoto's encephalopathy patients.
The study comprised eight patients with Hashimoto's encephalopathy, 16 patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease and 24 healthy subjects. A neuropsychological battery included assessments of memory, language, attention, executive function and visuospatial ability. Cranial MRI was obtained from all Hashimoto's encephalopathy patients.
Hashimoto's encephalopathy and mild Alzheimer’s disease showed cognitive impairments in episodic memory, attention, executive function and visuospatial ability, but naming ability was unaffected in Hashimoto's encephalopathy. The MRI of Hashimoto's encephalopathy showed leukoencephalopathy-like type or limbic encephalitis-like type; the lesions did not affect the temporal cortex which plays a role in naming ability.
Except that the naming ability was retained, the impairments in cognitive functions for the Hashimoto's encephalopathy patients were similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease patients. These results were consistent with the MRI findings.
To ascertain antepartum predictors of newborn encephalopathy in term infants.
Population based, unmatched case-control study.
Metropolitan area of Western Australia, June 1993 to September 1995.
All 164 term infants with moderate or severe newborn encephalopathy; 400 randomly selected controls.
Main outcome measures
Adjusted odds ratio estimates.
The birth prevalence of moderate or severe newborn encephalopathy was 3.8/1000 term live births. The neonatal fatality was 9.1%. The risk of newborn encephalopathy increased with increasing maternal age and decreased with increasing parity. There was an increased risk associated with having a mother who was unemployed (odds ratio 3.60), an unskilled manual worker (3.84), or a housewife (2.48). Other risk factors from before conception were not having private health insurance (3.46), a family history of seizures (2.55), a family history of neurological disease (2.73), and infertility treatment (4.43). Risk factors during pregnancy were maternal thyroid disease (9.7), severe pre-eclampsia (6.30), moderate or severe bleeding (3.57), a clinically diagnosed viral illness (2.97), not having drunk alcohol (2.91); and placenta described at delivery as abnormal (2.07). Factors related to the baby were birth weight adjusted for gestational age between the third and ninth centile (4.37) or below the third centile (38.23). The risk relation with gestational age was J shaped with 38 and 39 weeks having the lowest risk.
The causes of newborn encephalopathy are heterogeneous and many of the causal pathways start before birth.
Key messagesThe birth prevalence of moderate or severe newborn encephalopathy was 3.8 per 1000 term live births and the neonatal case fatality was 9.1%Independent risk factors before conception and in the antepartum period for newborn encephalopathy include socioeconomic status, family history of seizures or other neurological disease, conception after infertility treatment, maternal thyroid disease, severe pre-eclampsia, bleeding in pregnancy, viral illness, having an abnormal placenta, intrauterine growth restriction, and postmaturityThe causes of newborn encephalopathy are heterogeneous and many causal pathways start in the antepartum period
Emerging evidence suggests that initiating delivery room respiratory support or resuscitation for term infants using lower rather than higher concentrations of oxygen reduces mortality and the risk of serious morbidity. Uncertainty exists with regard to applicability of this strategy for preterm infants who have different underlying reasons for respiratory distress and risks for harm at birth than term infants.
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to determine the effect on mortality and morbidity of using lower (21– 50%) versus higher (>50%) oxygen concentrations for delivery room transition support of preterm infants.
We identified six randomised controlled trials in which a total of 484 infants participated. Most participants were preterm infants born before 32 weeks’ gestation. One trial was quasi-randomised and in one trial allocation concealment was not described. Clinicians and investigators were aware of the interventions in all but one trial. Meta-analyses found a statistically significant reduction in the risk of death pooled risk ratio 0.65 (95% confidence interval 0.43, 0.98), but this effect disappeared when only the four trials with adequate allocation concealment were included [pooled risk ratio 1.0 (95% confidence interval 0.45, 2.24)]. None of the trials has evaluated any neuro-developmental outcomes.
The available trial data do not provide strong evidence that using lower versus higher oxygen concentrations for delivery room transition support for preterm infants confers important benefits or harms. Lack of allocation concealment and blinding of clinicians and assessors are the major sources of bias in the existing trials. Further, large, good-quality trials are needed to resolve on-going uncertainties and inform clinical practice.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the relation between relative deprivation, its associated social risk factors and the prevalence of wheeze in infancy and in adulthood. DESIGN: A cross sectional population study. SETTING: The three District Health Authorities of Bristol. SUBJECTS: A random sample of 1954 women stratified by age and housing tenure to be representative of women with children < 1 in Great Britain and selected from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The prevalence of wheeze for infants at six months after birth and for their mothers and fathers at eight months postpartum. Potential mediators of the relation between relative deprivation and wheeze measured were overcrowded living conditions, number of other siblings in the household, damp or mouldy housing conditions, maternal and paternal smoking behaviour, and infant feeding practice. RESULTS: 63.4% (1239) of the sample lived in owner occupied/mortgaged accommodation (relatively affluent) and 36.6% (715) lived in council house/rented accommodation (relatively deprived). Wheeze was significantly more likely for infants living in council house/rented accommodation (chi 2 = 15.93, df = 1, p < 0.0001), their mothers (chi 2 = 9.28, df = 1, p < 0.001) and their fathers (chi 2 = 7.41, df = 1, p < 0.01). For those living in council house/rented accommodation backward stepwise logistic regression analyses showed that infants with other siblings in the household were significantly more likely to wheeze (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.27, 2.65), as were infants whose mothers smoked (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.30, 2.55) and those who were breast fed for less than three months (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.44, 0.98). Mothers with a partner who smoked were significantly more likely to report wheeze (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.05, 2.85). There was no independent association between the social factors included in the analysis and the likelihood of wheeze for fathers. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified differences in the social factors associated with a higher prevalence of wheeze in infancy and in adulthood; results suggested that this symptom was commonly linked to infection in infancy, but not in adulthood. While environmental tobacco smoke was associated with a higher prevalence of wheeze in infancy and in adulthood, this does not necessarily indicate a common underlying mechanism; possible explanations are discussed.
OBJECTIVES--To assess the contribution of children with different birth weights to special educational needs within a single health district, and to determine whether this pattern changed over the time when the survival of very low birthweight (VLBW) infants was increasing. SETTING--An inner London health district. STUDY DESIGN--A cohort of children born to local parents between January 1974 and December 1980 was selected from birth notifications, including only those infants who survived for more than one month. Community child health records were then inspected to identify children from the cohort who had been formally assessed for special educational needs before their 8th birthday. The risk of special educational needs was compared for the years 1974-77 and 1977-80 (the first and second halves of the period studied). SUBJECTS--The infant cohort consisted of 31,846 children. Altogether 260 (0.8%) of these were later assessed formally. RESULTS--VLBW infants were 4.4 times more likely to be assessed than normal birthweight infants. Formal assessment within the district occurred in three of 68 VLBW infants from the first half of the period studied, and three of 120 from the second half. CONCLUSION--Although VLBW infants are at higher risk, an increase in their survival was not associated with any increase in their contribution to the group with special educational needs within our district. Their contribution, as a group, to the total number of children with special educational needs is very small.