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1.  Neonatal jaundice 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:0319.
Introduction
About 50% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice, which usually appears 2 to 4 days after birth, and resolves spontaneously after 1 to 2 weeks. Jaundice is caused by bilirubin deposition in the skin. Most jaundice in newborn infants is a result of increased red cell breakdown and decreased bilirubin excretion.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments for unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia in term and preterm infants? We searched Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 42 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: albumin infusion, exchange transfusion, home phototherapy, immunoglobulin, hospital phototherapy, and tin-mesoporphyrin.
Key Points
About 50% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice, which usually appears 2 to 4 days after birth, and resolves spontaneously after 1 to 2 weeks. Jaundice is caused by bilirubin deposition in the skin. Most jaundice in newborn infants is a result of increased red cell breakdown and decreased bilirubin excretion.Breastfeeding, haemolysis, and some metabolic and genetic disorders also increase the risk of jaundice.Unconjugated bilirubin can be neurotoxic, causing an acute or chronic encephalopathy that may result in cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and seizures.
Phototherapy provided by conventional or fibreoptic lights in hospital reduces neonatal jaundice compared with no treatment (as assessed by serum bilirubin levels). Low threshold compared with high threshold phototherapy reduces neurodevelopmental impairment and hearing loss and reduces serum bilirubin on day 5 in extremely low birth weight infants. However, it increases the duration of phototherapy, and there is no effect on mortality or the rate of exchange transfusion.Close phototherapy compared with distant light-source phototherapy reduces the duration of phototherapy in infants with hyperbilirubinaemia.
We don't know whether home phototherapy is more or less effective than hospital phototherapy as we found no studies comparing the two treatments.
There is consensus that exchange transfusion reduces serum bilirubin levels and prevents neurodevelopmental sequelae, although we found no studies to confirm this. Exchange transfusion has an estimated mortality of 3 to 4 per 1000 exchanged infants, and 5% to 10% permanent sequelae in survivors.
We don't know whether albumin infusion is beneficial.
Tin-mesoporphyrin is not currently licensed for routine clinical use in the UK or US, and further long-term studies are warranted to confirm its place in clinical practice.
However, tin-mesoporphyrin reduced the need for phototherapy (as assessed by serum bilirubin levels) when given either to preterm infants on the first day, or to jaundiced term or near-term infants within the first few days of life.
Intravenous immunoglobin reduces the need for exchange transfusion in high-risk infants with haemolytic hyperbilirubinaemia, as well as reduces serum bilirubin levels, the requirement for phototherapy, and the length of hospital stay. Benefits of immunoglobulin were observed when used either alone or in conjunction with phototherapy. No adverse effects were reported. However, we don't know whether immunoglobulin prevents neurodevelopmental sequelae.
PMCID: PMC3217664  PMID: 21920055
2.  Chorioamnionitis and Early Childhood Outcomes among Extremely Low-Gestational-Age Neonates 
JAMA pediatrics  2014;168(2):137-147.
Importance
Chorioamnionitis is strongly linked to preterm birth and to neonatal infection. The association between histological and clinical chorioamnionitis and cognitive, behavioral and neurodevelopmental outcomes among extremely preterm neonates is less clear. We evaluated the impact of chorioamnionitis on 18-22 month neurodevelopmental outcomes in a contemporary cohort of extremely preterm neonates.
Objective
To compare the neonatal and neurodevelopmental outcomes of three groups of extremely-low-gestational-age infants with increasing exposure to perinatal inflammation: no chorioamnionitis, histological chorioamnionitis alone, or histological plus clinical chorioamnionitis.
Design
Longitudinal observational study.
Setting
Sixteen centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.
Participants
2390 extremely preterm infants born <27 weeks' gestational age between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008 with placental histopathology and 18-22 months' corrected age follow-up data were eligible.
Main exposure
Chorioamnionitis
Main Outcome Measures
Outcomes included cerebral palsy, gross motor functional limitation, behavioral scores (according to the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment), cognitive and language scores (according to the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 3rd-Edition) and composite measures of death/neurodevelopmental impairment. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were developed to assess the association between chorioamnionitis and outcomes while controlling for important variables known at birth.
Results
Neonates exposed to chorioamnionitis had a lower gestational age (GA) and had higher rates of early-onset sepsis and severe periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage as compared with unexposed neonates. In multivariable models evaluating death and neurodevelopmental outcomes, inclusion of gestational age in the model diminished the association between chorioamnionitis and adverse outcomes. Still, histological+clinical chorioamnionitis was associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment as compared with no chorioamnionitis (Adjusted OR 2.4, [1.3- 4.3] without GA; Adjusted OR 2.0, [1.1-3.6] with GA as a covariate). Histological chorioamnionitis alone was associated with lower odds of death/neurodevelopmental impairment as compared with histological+clinical chorioamnionitis (Adjusted OR 0.68, [0.52-0.89] without GA; 0.66, [0.49-0.89] with GA). Risk of behavioral problems did not differ statistically between groups.
Conclusions and Relevance
Antenatal exposure to chorioamnionitis is associated with altered odds of cognitive impairment and death/neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely preterm infants.
doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4248
PMCID: PMC4219500  PMID: 24378638
chorioamnionitis; preterm; neurodevelopmental impairment; outcome
3.  Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Triplets or Higher-Order Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2011;127(3):e654-e660.
BACKGROUND:
Extremely low birth weight twins have a higher rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment than singletons. Higher-order extremely low birth weight multiple births may have an even higher rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment.
METHODS:
Extremely low birth weight (birth weight 401–1000 g) multiple births born in participating centers of the Neonatal Research Network between 1996 and 2005 were assessed for death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months' corrected age. Neurodevelopmental impairment was defined by the presence of 1 or more of the following: moderate to severe cerebral palsy; mental developmental index score or psychomotor developmental index score less than 70; severe bilateral deafness; or blindness. Infants who died within 12 hours of birth were excluded. Maternal and infant demographic and clinical variables were compared among singleton, twin, and triplet or higher-order infants. Logistic regression analysis was performed to establish the association between singletons, twins, and triplet or higher-order multiples and death or neurodevelopmental impairment, controlling for confounding variables that may affect death or neurodevelopmental impairment.
RESULTS:
Our cohort consisted of 8296 singleton, 2164 twin, and 521 triplet or higher-order infants. The risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment was increased in triplets or higher-order multiples when compared with singletons (adjusted odds ratio: 1.7 [95% confidence interval: 1.29–2.24]), and there was a trend toward an increased risk when compared with twins (adjusted odds ratio: 1.27 [95% confidence: 0.95–1.71]).
CONCLUSIONS:
Triplet or higher-order births are associated with an increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months' corrected age when compared with extremely low birth weight singleton infants, and there was a trend toward an increased risk when compared with twins.
doi:10.1542/peds.2010-2646
PMCID: PMC3304548  PMID: 21357334
extremely low birth weight; triplets; neurodevelopmental outcomes
4.  A randomized trial of aggressive versus conservative phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia in infants weighing less than 1500 g: Short- and long-term outcomes 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2007;12(10):853-858.
OBJECTIVE
Treatment regimens for hyperbilirubinemia vary for very low birth weight infants. The present study seeks to determine whether the initiation of conservative phototherapy is as effective as aggressive phototherapy in reducing peak bilirubin levels without increasing adverse effects.
STUDY DESIGN
The present randomized, controlled study included infants with birth weights between 500 g and 1500 g, stratified into two birth weight groups. In one group, aggressive phototherapy was commenced by 12 h of age, while in the other group, conservative phototherapy was commenced if serum bilirubin levels exceeded 150 μmol/L. The primary outcome variables were peak serum bilirubin levels and hours of phototherapy. Secondary outcomes were age at peak bilirubin levels, number of infants with rebound hyperbilirubinemia, and number of adverse short- and long-term outcomes.
RESULTS
Of 174 eligible infants, 95 consented to participate −49 in the conservative arm and 46 in the aggressive arm. Ninety-two infants completed the study. There was no significant difference in peak bilirubin levels except in infants who weighed less than 1000 g −171.2±26 μmol/L (conservative) versus 139.2±46 μmol/L (aggressive); P<0.02. There was no difference in duration of phototherapy or rebound hyperbilirubinemia. There were no differences in short-term adverse outcomes. Of the 87 infants who survived until hospital discharge, 82 (94%) had some follow-up and 75 (86%) attended follow-up until 18 months corrected age. The incidence of cerebral palsy, abnormal mental developmental index at 18 months corrected age, or combined outcome of cerebral palsy and death did not significantly differ between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS
In infants weighing less than 1000 g, peak bilirubin levels were significantly higher using conservative phototherapy regimens and there was a tendency for poor neurodevelopmental outcome.
PMCID: PMC2532565  PMID: 19043499
Hyperbilirubinemia; Paediatrics; Phototherapy; Population-based; Preterm
5.  Outcomes of Small for Gestational Age Infants < 27 Weeks’ Gestation 
The Journal of pediatrics  2013;163(1):55-60.e1-3.
Objective
To determine whether small for gestational age (SGA) infants <27 weeks gestation is associated with mortality, morbidity, growth and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months’ corrected age (CA).
Study design
This was a retrospective cohort study from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network’s Generic Database and Follow-up Studies. Infants born at <27 weeks’ gestation from January 2006 to July 2008 were included. SGA was defined as birth weight <10th percentile for gestational age by the Olsen growth curves. Infants with birth weight ≥10th percentile for gestational age were classified as non-SGA. Maternal and infant characteristics, neonatal outcomes and neurodevelopmental data were compared between the groups. Neurodevelopmental impairment was defined as any of the following: cognitive score <70 on BSID III, moderate or severe cerebral palsy, bilateral hearing loss (+/− amplification) or blindness (vision <20/200). Logistic regression analysis evaluated the association between SGA status and death or neurodevelopmental impairment.
Results
There were 385 SGA and 2586 non-SGA infants. Compared with the non-SGA group, mothers of SGA infants were more likely to have higher level of education, prenatal care, cesarean delivery, pregnancy-induced hypertension and antenatal corticosteroid exposure. SGA infants were more likely to have postnatal growth failure, a higher mortality and to have received prolonged mechanical ventilation and postnatal steroids. SGA status was associated with higher odds of death or neurodevelopmental impairment [OR 3.91 (95% CI: 2.91–5.25), P<0.001].
Conclusion
SGA status among infants <27 weeks’ gestation was associated with an increased risk for postnatal steroid use, mortality, growth failure and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months’ CA.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.12.097
PMCID: PMC3947828  PMID: 23415614
extremely preterm infants; neurodevelopmental follow-up
6.  Twin Gestation and Neuro-developmental Outcome in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2009;123(2):e220-e227.
Objective
To compare the risk-adjusted incidence of death or neuro-developmental impairment at 18–22 months corrected age, between twin and singleton extremely low birth weight infants.
Hypothesis
Twin gestation is independently associated with increased risk of death or adverse neuro-developmental outcomes at 18–22 months corrected age in extremely low birth weight infants.
Design/Methods
Retrospective study of inborn extremely low birth weight infants (BW 401– 1000g) admitted to NICHD Neonatal Research Network units between 1997 and 2005, who either died or had follow-up data available at 18–22 months corrected age. Neuro-developmental impairment (NDI), the primary outcome variable, was defined as the presence of any one of the following: moderate or severe cerebral palsy, severe bilateral hearing loss needing amplification, bilateral blindness, Bayley Mental Developmental Index or Psychomotor Developmental Index of less than 70. Death was included with NDI as a composite outcome since it is a competing variable. Results were compared for both twins, twin A, twin B, same sex twins, unlike sex twins and singleton infants. Logistic regression analysis was done to control for demographic and clinical factors that were different among the groups.
Results
The cohort of infants who either died or were assessed for NDI consisted of 7,630 singleton infants and 1,376 twins. Logistic regression adjusting for clinical and socio-demographic risk factors showed an increased risk of death or NDI for twins as a group when compared with the singletons (OR-1.39, 95% CI- 1.19–1.63). On analyzing twin A and B separately as well, risk of death or NDI was increased in both twin A (OR-1.32, 95% CI- 1.09–1.59) and for twin B (OR-1.47, 95% CI- 1.21–1.78), when compared with singleton infants.
Conclusions
Twin gestation in ELBW infants is associated with an independent increased risk of death or NDI at 18–22 months corrected age, compared to ELBW singleton gestation infants. Both first and second born twins are at increased risk of death or NDI when compared to singleton ELBW infants.
doi:10.1542/peds.2008-1126
PMCID: PMC2842087  PMID: 19139085
twins; neuro-developmental impairment; extremely low birth weight infants
7.  Seizures in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants Are Associated with Adverse Outcome 
The Journal of pediatrics  2010;157(5):720-725.e2.
Objective
To examine risk factors for neonatal clinical seizures and to determine the independent association with death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.
Study design
A total of 6499 ELBW infants (401–1000 g) surviving to 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) were included in this retrospective study. Unadjusted comparisons were performed between infants with (n=414) and without (n=6085) clinical seizures during the initial hospitalization. Multivariate logistic regression modeling examined the independent association of seizures with late death (after 36 weeks PMA) or NDI after controlling for multiple demographic, perinatal, and neonatal variables.
Results
Infants with clinical seizures had a greater proportion of neonatal morbidities associated with poor outcome, including severe intraventricular hemorrhage, sepsis, meningitis, and cystic periventricular leukomalacia (all P < .01). Survivors were more likely to have NDI or moderate-severe cerebral palsy at 18 to 22 months corrected age (both P < .01). After adjusting for multiple confounders, clinical seizures remained significantly associated with late death or NDI (odds ratio 3.15 [95% confidence interval 2.37–4.19]).
Conclusions
ELBW infants with clinical seizures are at increased risk for adverse neurodevelopmental outcome, independent of multiple confounding factors.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.04.065
PMCID: PMC2939969  PMID: 20542294
preterm; neurodevelopmental impairment; electroencephalography
8.  Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants with Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation or Surgical Necrotizing Enterocolitis 
Objective
To determine if extremely low birth weight infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis have a higher risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors (secondary outcome) at 18–22 months corrected age compared to infants with spontaneous intestinal perforation and infants without necrotizing enterocolitis or spontaneous intestinal perforation.
Study Design
Retrospective analysis of the Neonatal Research Network very low birth weight registry, evaluating extremely low birth weight infants born between 2000–2005. The study infants were designated into 3 groups: 1) Spontaneous intestinal perforation without necrotizing enterocolitis; 2) Surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (Bell's stage III); and 3) Neither spontaneous intestinal perforation nor necrotizing enterocolitis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between the clinical group and death or neurodevelopmental impairment, controlling for multiple confounding factors including center.
Results
Infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis had the highest rate of death prior to hospital discharge (53.5%) and death or neurodevelopmental impairment (82.3%) compared to infants in the spontaneous intestinal perforation group (39.1% and 79.3%) and no necrotizing enterocolitis/no spontaneous intestinal perforation group (22.1% and 53.3%; p<0.001). Similar results were observed for neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors. On logistic regression analysis, both spontaneous intestinal perforation and surgical necrotizing enterocolitis were associated with increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (adjusted OR 2.21, 95% CI: 1.5, 3.2 and adjusted OR 2.11, 95% CI: 1.5, 2.9 respectively) and neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors (adjusted OR 2.17, 95% CI: 1.4, 3.2 and adjusted OR 1.70, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.4 respectively).
Conclusions
Spontaneous intestinal perforation and surgical necrotizing enterocolitis are associated with a similar increase in the risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and neurodevelopmental impairment among extremely low birth weight survivors at 18–22 months corrected age.
doi:10.1038/jp.2013.128
PMCID: PMC3877158  PMID: 24135709
spontaneous intestinal perforation; necrotizing enterocolitis; extremely low birth weight; neurodevelopmental impairment
9.  Outcome of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants with Congenital Heart Defects in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network 
Pediatric cardiology  2012;33(8):1415-1426.
Little is known about the outcomes of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) preterm infants with congenital heart defects (CHDs). The aim of this study was to assess the mortality, morbidity, and early childhood outcomes of ELBW infants with isolated CHD compared with infants with no congenital defects. Participants were 401–1,000 g infants cared for at National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network centers between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2005. Neonatal morbidities and 18–22 months’ corrected age outcomes were assessed. Neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) was defined as moderate to severe cerebral palsy, Bayley II mental or psychomotor developmental index < 70, bilateral blindness, or hearing impairment requiring aids. Poisson regression models were used to estimate relative risks for outcomes while adjusting for gestational age, small for gestational-age status, and other variables. Of 14,457 ELBW infants, 110 (0.8 %) had isolated CHD, and 13,887 (96 %) had no major birth defect. The most common CHD were septal defects, tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary valve stenosis, and coarctation of the aorta. Infants with CHD experienced increased mortality (48 % compared with 35 % for infants with no birth defect) and poorer growth. Surprisingly, the adjusted risks of other short-term neonatal morbidities associated with prematurity were not significantly different. Fifty-seven (52 %) infants with CHD survived to 18–22 months’ corrected age, and 49 (86 %) infants completed follow-up. A higher proportion of surviving infants with CHD were impaired compared with those without birth defects (57 vs. 38 %, p = 0.004). Risk of death or NDI was greater for ELBW infants with CHD, although 20% of infants survived without NDI.
doi:10.1007/s00246-012-0375-8
PMCID: PMC3687358  PMID: 22644414
heart defects; congenital; follow-up studies
10.  Long-Term Neurodevelopmental Outcome of Monochorionic and Matched Dichorionic Twins 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6815.
Background
Monochorionic (MC) twins are at increased risk for perinatal mortality and serious morbidity due to the presence of placental vascular anastomoses. Cerebral injury can be secondary to haemodynamic and hematological disorders during pregnancy (especially twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) or intrauterine co-twin death) or from postnatal injury associated with prematurity and low birth weight, common complications in twin pregnancies. We investigated neurodevelopmental outcome in MC and dichorionic (DC) twins at the age of two years.
Methods
This was a prospective cohort study. Cerebral palsy (CP) was studied in 182 MC infants and 189 DC infants matched for weight and age at delivery, gender, ethnicity of the mother and study center. After losses to follow-up, 282 of the 366 infants without CP were available to be tested with the Griffiths Mental Developmental Scales at 22 months corrected age, all born between January 2005 and January 2006 in nine perinatal centers in The Netherlands. Due to phenotypic (un)alikeness in mono-or dizygosity, the principal investigator was not blinded to chorionic status; perinatal outcome, with exception of co-twin death, was not known to the examiner.
Findings
Four out of 182 MC infants had CP (2.2%) - two of the four CP-cases were due to complications specific to MC twin pregnancies (TTTS and co-twin death) and the other two cases of CP were the result of cystic PVL after preterm birth - compared to one sibling of a DC twin (0.5%; OR 4.2, 95% CI 0.5–38.2) of unknown origin. Follow-up rate of neurodevelopmental outcome by Griffith's test was 76%. The majority of 2-year-old twins had normal developmental status. There were no significant differences between MC and DC twins. One MC infant (0.7%) had a developmental delay compared to 6 DC infants (4.2%; OR 0.2, 95% 0.0–1.4). Birth weight discordancy did not influence long-term outcome, though the smaller twin had slightly lower developmental scores than its larger co-twin.
Conclusions
There were no significant differences in occurrence of cerebral palsy as well as neurodevelopmental outcome between MC and DC twins. Outcome of MC twins seems favourable in the absence of TTTS or co-twin death.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006815
PMCID: PMC2728837  PMID: 19714240
11.  Aggressive vs. Conservative Phototherapy for Infants with Extremely Low Birth Weight 
Background
It is unclear whether aggressive phototherapy to prevent neurotoxic effects of bilirubin benefits or harms infants with extremely low birth weight (1000 g or less).
Methods
We randomly assigned 1974 infants with extremely low birth weight at 12 to 36 hours of age to undergo either aggressive or conservative phototherapy. The primary outcome was a composite of death or neurodevelopmental impairment determined for 91% of the infants by investigators who were unaware of the treatment assignments.
Results
Aggressive phototherapy, as compared with conservative phototherapy, significantly reduced the mean peak serum bilirubin level (7.0 vs. 9.8 mg per deciliter [120 vs. 168 μmol per liter], P<0.01) but not the rate of the primary outcome (52% vs. 55%; relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87 to 1.02; P = 0.15). Aggressive phototherapy did reduce rates of neurodevelopmental impairment (26%, vs. 30% for conservative phototherapy; relative risk, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.99). Rates of death in the aggressive-phototherapy and conservative-phototherapy groups were 24% and 23%, respectively (relative risk, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.22). In preplanned subgroup analyses, the rates of death were 13% with aggressive phototherapy and 14% with conservative phototherapy for infants with a birth weight of 751 to 1000 g and 39% and 34%, respectively (relative risk, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.34), for infants with a birth weight of 501 to 750 g.
Conclusions
Aggressive phototherapy did not significantly reduce the rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment. The rate of neurodevelopmental impairment alone was significantly reduced with aggressive phototherapy. This reduction may be offset by an increase in mortality among infants weighing 501 to 750 g at birth. (ClinicalTrials. gov number, NCT00114543.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0803024
PMCID: PMC2821221  PMID: 18971491
12.  Death or Neurodevelopmental Impairment at 18 To 22 Months in a Randomized Trial of Early Dexamethasone to Prevent Death or Chronic Lung Disease in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
The Journal of pediatrics  2013;164(1):34-39.e2.
Objective
To evaluate the incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) at 18 to 22 months corrected age in subjects enrolled in a trial of early dexamethasone treatment to prevent death or chronic lung disease in extremely low birth weight infants.
Methods
Evaluation of infants at 18 to 22 months corrected age included anthropomorphic measurements, a standard neurological examination, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, including the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and the Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI). NDI was defined as moderate or severe cerebral palsy, MDI or PDI less than 70, blindness, or hearing impairment.
Results
Death or NDI at 18 to 22 months corrected age was similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups (65 vs 66 percent, p= 0.99 among those with known outcome). The proportion of survivors with NDI was also similar, as were mean values for weight, length, and head circumference and the proportion of infants with poor growth (50 vs 41 percent, p=0.42 for weight less than 10th percentile). Forty nine percent of infants in the placebo group received treatment with corticosteroid compared to 32% in the dexamethasone group (p=0.02).
Conclusion
The risk of death or NDI and rate of poor growth were high but similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups. The lack of a discernible effect of early dexamethasone on neurodevelopmental outcome may be due to frequent clinical corticosteroid use in the placebo group.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.07.027
PMCID: PMC4120744  PMID: 23992673
neurodevelopmental outcome; growth; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; cerebral palsy; neonatal follow-up
13.  Neonatal jaundice 
Clinical Evidence  2007;2007:0319.
Introduction
About 50% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice, which usually appears 2-4 days after birth, and resolves spontaneously after 1-2 weeks. Jaundice is caused by bilirubin deposition in the skin. Most jaundice in newborn infants is a result of increased red cell breakdown and decreased bilirubin excretion.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia in term and preterm infants? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to November 2006 (BMJ Clinical evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 14 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: albumin infusion, exchange transfusion, home phototherapy, hospital phototherapy, tin-mesoporphyrin.
Key Points
About 50% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice, which usually appears 2-4 days after birth, and resolves spontaneously after 1-2 weeks. Jaundice is caused by bilirubin deposition in the skin. Most jaundice in newborn infants is a result of increased red cell breakdown and decreased bilirubin excretion.Breastfeeding, haemolysis, and some metabolic and genetic disorders also increase the risk of jaundice.Unconjugated bilirubin can be neurotoxic, causing an acute or chronic encephalopathy that may result in cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and seizures.
Phototherapy provided by conventional or fibreoptic lights in hospital reduces neonatal jaundice compared with no treatment (as assessed by serum bilirubin levels), although we don't know which is the best regimen to use. We don't know whether home phototherapy is more or less effective than hospital phototherapy as we found no studies comparing the two treatments.
There is consensus that exchange transfusion reduces serum bilirubin levels and prevents neurodevelopmental sequelae, although we found no studies to confirm this. Exchange transfusion has an estimated mortality of 3-4 per 1000 exchanged infants, and 5-10% permanent sequelae in survivors.We don't know whether albumin infusion is beneficial.
Tin-mesoporphyrin is not currently licensed for routine clinical use in the UK or USA, and further long term studies are warranted to confirm its place in clinical practice. However, tin-mesoporphyrin reduced the need for phototherapy (as assessed by serum bilirubin levels) when given either to preterm infants on the first day, or to jaundiced term or near term infants within the first few days of life.
PMCID: PMC2943774  PMID: 19454091
14.  Influence of gestational age on death and neurodevelopmental outcome in premature infants with severe intracranial hemorrhage 
Objective
To determine whether death and/or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) after severe intracranial hemorrhage (ICH; grade 3 or 4) differs by gestational age (GA) at birth in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.
Study Design
Demographic, perinatal and neonatal factors potentially contributing to NDI for ELBW infants (23 to 28 weeks gestation) were obtained retrospectively; outcome data came from the ELBW Follow-up Study. NDI was defined at 18 to 22 months corrected age as moderate/severe cerebral palsy, Bayley Scales of Infant Development II cognitive or motor score <70, and/or blindness or deafness. Characteristics of younger versus older infants with no versus severe ICH associated with death or NDI were compared. Generalized linear mixed models predicted death or NDI in each GA cohort.
Result
Of the 6638 infants, 61.8% had no ICH and 13.6% had severe ICH; 39% of survivors had NDI. Risk-adjusted odds of death or NDI and death were higher in the lower GA group. Lower GA increased the odds of death before 30 days for infants with severe ICH. Necrotizing enterocolitis (particularly surgical NEC), late onset infection, cystic periventricular leukomalacia and post-natal steroids contributed to mortality risk. NDI differed by GA in infants without ICH and grade 3, but not grade 4 ICH. Contributors to NDI in infants with severe ICH included male gender, surgical NEC and post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus requiring a shunt.
Conclusion
GA contributes to the risk of death in ELBW infants, but not NDI among survivors with severe ICH. Male gender, surgical NEC and need for a shunt add additional risk for NDI.
doi:10.1038/jp.2012.91
PMCID: PMC3777699  PMID: 22814942
infant; premature; extremely low birth weight; death; neurodevelopmental impairment
15.  Early-Childhood Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Are Not Improving for Infants Born at <25 Weeks' Gestational Age 
Pediatrics  2011;127(1):62-70.
OBJECTIVE:
We compared neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age of infants born with extremely low birth weight at an estimated gestational age of <25 weeks during 2 periods: 1999–2001 (epoch 1) and 2002–2004 (epoch 2).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We conducted a multicenter, retrospective analysis of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Perinatal and neonatal variables and outcomes were compared between epochs. Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age were evaluated with neurologic exams and Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Logistic regression analyses determined the independent risk of epoch for adverse outcomes.
RESULTS:
Infant survival was similar between epochs (epoch 1, 35.4%, vs epoch 2, 32.3%; P = .09). A total of 411 of 452 surviving infants in epoch 1 and 405 of 438 surviving infants in epoch 2 were evaluated at 18 to 22 months' corrected age. Cesarean delivery (P = .03), surgery for patent ductus arteriosus (P = .004), and late sepsis (P = .01) were more common in epoch 2, but postnatal steroid use was dramatically reduced (63.5% vs 32.8%; P < .0001). Adverse outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age were common in both epochs. Moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy was diagnosed in 11.1% of surviving infants in epoch 1 and 14.9% in epoch 2 (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86–2.71]; P = .15), the Mental Developmental Index was <70 in 44.9% in epoch 1 and 51% in epoch 2 (OR: 1.30 [95% CI: 0.91–1.87]; P = .15), and neurodevelopmental impairment was diagnosed in 50.1% of surviving infants in epoch 1 and 58.7% in epoch 2 (OR: 1.4 [95% CI: 0.98–2.04]; P = .07).
CONCLUSIONS:
Early-childhood outcomes for infants born at <25 weeks' estimated gestational age were unchanged between the 2 periods.
doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1150
PMCID: PMC3375467  PMID: 21187312
extremely preterm; neurodevelopmental; outcome; cerebral palsy; Bayley Scales of Infant Development II
16.  The Bilirubin Albumin Ratio in the Management of Hyperbilirubinemia in Preterm Infants to Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcome: A Randomized Controlled Trial – BARTrial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99466.
Background and Objective
High bilirubin/albumin (B/A) ratios increase the risk of bilirubin neurotoxicity. The B/A ratio may be a valuable measure, in addition to the total serum bilirubin (TSB), in the management of hyperbilirubinemia. We aimed to assess whether the additional use of B/A ratios in the management of hyperbilirubinemia in preterm infants improved neurodevelopmental outcome.
Methods
In a prospective, randomized controlled trial, 615 preterm infants of 32 weeks' gestation or less were randomly assigned to treatment based on either B/A ratio and TSB thresholds (consensus-based), whichever threshold was crossed first, or on the TSB thresholds only. The primary outcome was neurodevelopment at 18 to 24 months' corrected age as assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development III by investigators unaware of treatment allocation. Secondary outcomes included complications of preterm birth and death.
Results
Composite motor (100±13 vs. 101±12) and cognitive (101±12 vs. 101±11) scores did not differ between the B/A ratio and TSB groups. Demographic characteristics, maximal TSB levels, B/A ratios, and other secondary outcomes were similar. The rates of death and/or severe neurodevelopmental impairment for the B/A ratio versus TSB groups were 15.4% versus 15.5% (P = 1.0) and 2.8% versus 1.4% (P = 0.62) for birth weights ≤1000 g and 1.8% versus 5.8% (P = 0.03) and 4.1% versus 2.0% (P = 0.26) for birth weights of >1000 g.
Conclusions
The additional use of B/A ratio in the management of hyperbilirubinemia in preterm infants did not improve their neurodevelopmental outcome.
Trial Registration
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN74465643
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099466
PMCID: PMC4057208  PMID: 24927259
17.  Unimpaired Outcome in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants at 18–22 Months 
Pediatrics  2009;124(1):112-121.
Background
To identify among extremely low birth weight (≤ 1000 grams) live births, the percent of infants who are unimpaired at 18–22 months corrected age.
Methods
Unimpaired outcome was defined as both Bayley-II MDI and PDI Scores ≥ 85, a normal neurological exam, normal vision, normal hearing and normal swallowing and ambulating. Outcomes at 18–22 months were determined for 5250 (86%) of 6090 ELBW inborn infants. Group comparisons were made and regression models were developed to identify factors associated with unimpaired outcome.
Results
Of the 5250 infants whose outcome was known at 18 months, 850 (16%) were unimpaired, 1153 (22%) had mild impairments, 1147 (22%) had moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairments and 2100 (40%) had died. Unimpaired survival rates varied by birth weight from <1% for infants ≤ 500 grams to 24% for infants 901–1000 grams for all live births. The regression model to predict unimpaired survival versus death or impairment for live births ( n=5250) identified that 25.3% of the variance was derived from infant factors present at birth including female gender, higher birth weight, singleton, and small for gestation, and less than 2% was explained either by maternal demographic factors or selected obstetric interventions. For the 3232 infants discharged from the NICU, the unimpaired survival rate was 26%. The regression model to predict unimpaired survival for discharged infants identified that most of the variance was derived from combined effects of major neonatal morbidities, neonatal interventions, and maternal demographics (15.7%) and only 8.5% was derived from infant factors present at birth.
Conclusions
Although <1% of ELBW live births ≤ 500 grams survive free of impairment at 18 months this increases to almost 24% for infants 901–1000 grams. Female gender, singleton, higher birth weight, absence of neonatal morbidities, private health insurance and White race increase the likelihood of unimpaired status.
doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2742
PMCID: PMC2856069  PMID: 19564290
Extremely low birth weight; outcomes; neurodevelopmental impairment
18.  Community Supports After Surviving Extremely Low-Birth-Weight, Extremely Preterm Birth 
Objective
To determine special outpatient services (SOS) use, need, associated factors, and neurodevelopmental and functional outcomes among extremely preterm infants at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age.
Design
Retrospective analysis.
Setting
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network.
Participants
Infants younger than 28 weeks’ gestational age who had been born weighing less than 1000 g at an NICHD Neonatal Research Network center from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2000, and who were receiving follow-up at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age.
Interventions
Questionnaires were administered at the 18- to 22-month follow-up visit regarding SOS use since hospital discharge and the current need for SOS (social work, visiting nurse, medical specialty, early intervention, speech and language services, occupational therapy and physical therapy, and neurodevelopmental and behavioral services).
Main Outcome Measures
The use of and need for SOS were analyzed by gestational age. Logistic regression analysis identified factors independently associated with the use of more than 5 services and with the need for any services.
Results
Of 2315 infants, 54.7% used more than 3 SOS by 18 to 22 months, and 19.1% used 6 to 7 SOS. The need for any SOS was reported by approximately 37%. The following variables that were commonly associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes were also associated with the use of more than 5 SOS: sepsis, birth weight, postnatal corticosteroid use, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and cystic periventricular leukomalacia or grade 3 or 4 intraventricular hemorrhage. Male sex was associated with the need for any SOS. Although high SOS use was more likely among children with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, a reported need for SOS was common even among those with mild developmental impairment (39.7%) and mild cerebral palsy (42.2%).
Conclusions
High SOS use is common, has identifiable neonatal risk factors, and is associated with neurodevelopmental impairment. Extremely preterm survivors have substantial need for community supports regardless of their impairment level. Efforts to improve comprehensive delivery of family-centered community-based services are urgently needed.
doi:10.1001/archpedi.162.8.748
PMCID: PMC2748992  PMID: 18678807
19.  Early cortisol values and long-term outcomes in extremely low birth weight infants 
Objective
Both excess and insufficient levels of glucocorticoid in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants have been associated with adverse hospital outcomes, whereas excess glucocorticoid exposure has been associated with long-term adverse neurodevelopment. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between neonatal cortisol concentrations and long-term outcomes of growth and neurodevelopment.
Study Design
As part of a multicenter randomized trial of hydrocortisone treatment for prophylaxis of relative adrenal insufficiency, cortisol concentrations were obtained at 12 to 48 h of postnatal age and at days 5 to 7 on 350 intubated ELBW infants, of whom 252 survived and returned for neurodevelopmental follow-up at 18 to 22 months corrected age. Cortisol values from each time point were divided into quartiles. Growth and neurodevelopmental outcome were compared for each quartile.
Result
Median cortisol value was 16.0 μg per 100 ml at baseline for all infants, and 13.1 μg per 100 ml on days 5 to 7 in the placebo group. Outcomes did not differ in each quartile between treatment and placebo groups. Low cortisol values at baseline or at days 5 to 7 were not associated with impaired growth or neurodevelopment at 18 to 22 months corrected age. High cortisol values were associated with an increase in cerebral palsy, related to the increased incidence of severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and periventricular leukomalacia.
Conclusion
Low cortisol concentrations were not predictive of adverse long-term outcomes. High cortisol concentrations, although predictive of short-term adverse outcomes such as IVH and periventricular leukomalacia, did not additionally predict adverse outcome. Further analysis into identifying factors that modulate cortisol concentrations shortly after birth could improve our ability to identify those infants who are most likely to benefit from treatment with hydrocortisone.
doi:10.1038/jp.2009.191
PMCID: PMC3586211  PMID: 20010616
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; extremely preterm infants; hydrocortisone; outcomes of high-risk infants
20.  Maternal Age, Multiple Birth and Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
The Journal of pediatrics  2008;154(4):498-503.e2.
Objectives
To compare the rates of adverse neurodevelopmental outcome or death at 18 to 22 months among extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants born to mothers ≥ 40 years to the corresponding rates among infants of younger mothers.
Study Design
Prospective evaluation of ELBW infants to quantify the relative risks of maternal age and multiple birth for death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcome.
Results
The sample consisted of 14,671 live ELBW births divided into maternal age groups: <20; 20–29; 30–39; and ≥ 40 years. Of infants born to mothers ≥ 40 years, 20% were multiples. Mothers ≥ 40 years had high rates of obstetrical interventions and medical morbidities compared to mothers < 40 years. ELBW live births of mothers ≥ 40 years were 22 % more likely to survive and had a 13% decreased risk of neurodevelopmental impairment or death compared to mothers< 20. Multiple birth, however, was associated with a 10 % greater risk or neurodevelopmental impairment or death.
Conclusion
Although mothers ≥ 40 years had high pregnancy related morbidities, we found no overall increased risk of the composite outcome of death or NDI. Multiple birth, however, was a predictor of all adverse outcomes examined, regardless of maternal age.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.10.044
PMCID: PMC2834530  PMID: 19111322
outcomes; neurodevelopmental impairment; death
21.  Outcome at two years of age in a Swiss national cohort of extremely preterm infants born between 2000 and 2008 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:198.
Background
While survival rates of extremely preterm infants have improved over the last decades, the incidence of neurodevelopmental disability (ND) in survivors remains high. Representative current data on the severity of disability and of risk factors associated with poor outcome in this growing population are necessary for clinical guidance and parent counselling.
Methods
Prospective longitudinal multicentre cohort study of preterm infants born in Switzerland between 240/7 and 276/7 weeks gestational age during 2000–2008. Mortality, adverse outcome (death or severe ND) at two years, and predictors for poor outcome were analysed using multilevel multivariate logistic regression. Neurodevelopment was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Cerebral palsy was graded after the Gross Motor Function Classification System.
Results
Of 1266 live born infants, 422 (33%) died. Follow-up information was available for 684 (81%) survivors: 440 (64%) showed favourable outcome, 166 (24%) moderate ND, and 78 (11%) severe ND. At birth, lower gestational age, intrauterine growth restriction and absence of antenatal corticosteroids were associated with mortality and adverse outcome (p < 0.001). At 360/7 weeks postmenstrual age, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, major brain injury and retinopathy of prematurity were the main predictors for adverse outcome (p < 0.05). Survival without moderate or severe ND increased from 27% to 39% during the observation period (p = 0.02).
Conclusions
In this recent Swiss national cohort study of extremely preterm infants, neonatal mortality was determined by gestational age, birth weight, and antenatal corticosteroids while neurodevelopmental outcome was determined by the major neonatal morbidities. We observed an increase of survival without moderate or severe disability.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-198
PMCID: PMC3546845  PMID: 23272671
Development; Disability; Mortality; Outcome; Preterm
22.  Outcomes of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Impact of the Physiologic Definition 
Early human development  2012;88(7):509-515.
Aims
We compared neurodevelopmental outcomes of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), using the physiologic definition.
Study Design
ELBW (birth weights <1000 grams) infants admitted to the Neonatal Research Network centers and hospitalized at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (n=1,189) were classified using the physiologic definition of BPD. Infants underwent Bayley III assessment at 18-22 months corrected age. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between physiologic BPD and cognitive impairment (score < 70).
Results
BPD by the physiologic definition was diagnosed in 603 (52%) infants, 537 of whom were mechanically ventilated or on FiO2 > 30% and 66 who failed the room air challenge. Infants on room air (n=505) and those who passed the room air challenge (n=51) were classified as “no BPD” (n=556). At follow up, infants with BPD had significantly lower mean weight and head circumference. Moderate to severe cerebral palsy (7 vs. 2.1%) and spastic diplegia (7.8 vs. 4.1%) and quadriplegia (3.9 vs. 0.9%) phenotypes as well as cognitive (12.8 vs. 4.6%) and language scores < 70 (24.2 vs. 12.3%) were significantly more frequent in those with BPD compared to those without BPD. BPD was independently associated (adjusted OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.40-4.13) with cognitive impairment.
Conclusions
Rates of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in early childhood were significantly higher in those with BPD. BPD by the physiologic definition was independently associated with cognitive impairment using Bayley Scales III. These findings have implications for targeted post-discharge surveillance and early intervention.
doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.12.013
PMCID: PMC3686277  PMID: 22236557
Outcome; preterm; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; physiologic definition
23.  Role of Diffusion Tensor Imaging as an Independent Predictor of Cognitive and Language Development in Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants 
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Diffusion tensor imaging at term can predict later development of cerebral palsy. Less is known about its ability to independently predict cognitive and language development in extremely preterm infants. The goals of the study were to investigate the following: 1) whether regional DTI measures at term-equivalent age in extremely low-birth-weight infants (birth weight, ≤1000 g) are predictive of Bayley III developmental scores at 18- to 22-months’ corrected age, and 2) to compare white matter microstructural development at term and neurodevelopmental outcomes of extremely low-birth-weight infants with healthy term controls.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity in 7 vulnerable cerebral regions were measured in 42 extremely low-birth-weight and 16 term infants with high-quality DTI scans. The Bayley mental scale score (average of cognitive and language scale scores) was the primary outcome of interest with individual scores serving as secondary outcomes. Multiple linear regression modeling was used to identify the incremental ability of DTI measures to predict Bayley scores over known predictors.
RESULTS
Compared with healthy term infants, extremely low-birth-weight infants exhibited significantly higher mean diffusivity and lower fractional anisotropy in 6 of 7 regions. At 18- to 22-months’ corrected age, 39 extremely low-birth-weight infants (93%) and 14 term infants (88%) had undergone neurodevelopmental assessments. Although not statistically significant, extremely low-birth-weight infants averaged 7–9 points lower on Bayley subtests than term controls. In multivariable analyses, centrum semiovale mean diffusivity was a significant predictor of mental and language scale scores, and subventricular zone fractional anisotropy was a significant predictor of cognitive scale scores. A 10% increase in centrum semiovale mean diffusivity was associated with a 4.6 (95% CI, 1.6–7.6) point lower mental scale score (adjusted R2 = 0.341, P = .001).
CONCLUSIONS
In our extremely low-birth-weight cohort, DTI was an independent predictor of later cognitive and language development.
doi:10.3174/ajnr.A3725
PMCID: PMC3960368  PMID: 24052505
24.  Hyperbilirubinemia and Language Delay in Premature Infants 
Pediatrics  2009;123(1):327-331.
Objective
To evaluate if language delay at three years in premature infants is associated with prior exposure to hyperbilirubinemia during the first two weeks after birth.
Patients and Methods
We performed retrospective case-control study of infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between January and October 2003. Inclusion criteria included a birth weight ≤ 1500 grams and follow-up to age three years. Exclusion criteria included genetic disorders and hearing loss or recurrent ear infections. Peak total serum bilirubin (TSB) during the first two weeks and duration of hyperbilirubinemia (days with TSB > 8 mg/dl) were determined. Infants with language delay and receiving speech therapy by three years were identified through developmental clinic charts and tracking program and compared to infants who had normal language development.
Results
125 infants with birth weight ≤ 1500 grams were admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between January and October 2003. Fifteen infants died and 110 were discharged home. 102/110 (93%) of infants had follow-up to age three years. Four infants were excluded (1 genetic disorder, 3 delayed hearing loss or recurrent ear infections). 24 infants had a language delay and received speech therapy while 74 infants had normal language development. There was no significant difference in peak TSB and duration of hyperbilirubinemia between the two groups. On logistic regression, only bronchopulmonary dysplasia was associated with language delay (Adjusted odds ratio 7.3, 95% confidence interval 2.5 – 22).
Conclusions
Hyperbilirubinemia defined as peak TSB level or duration of elevated bilirubin in days is not associated with language delay in premature infants. However, this issue deserves investigation since other measures of bilirubin, such as unbound bilirubin may be associated with language delay.
doi:10.1542/peds.2007-3723
PMCID: PMC3264948  PMID: 19117899
hyperbilirubinemia; premature infants; language
25.  A national two year follow up study of extremely low birthweight infants born in 1996–1997 
Objective: To study neurodevelopmental outcome in a two year cohort of extremely low birthweight (ELBW) infants at 18 months corrected age, to compare the development of the ELBW infant subcohort with that of control children, and to find risk factors associated with unfavourable outcome.
Study design: All 211 surviving ELBW infants (birth weight < 1000 g) born in Finland in 1996–1997 were included in a national survey. The ELBW infants (n = 78) who were born and followed in Helsinki University Hospital belonged to a regional subcohort and were compared with a control group of 75 full term infants. A national follow up programme included neurological, speech, vision, and hearing assessments at 18 months of corrected age. Bayley infant scale assessment was performed on the subcohort and their controls at 24 months of age. Risk factors for unfavourable outcome were estimated using logistic and linear regression models.
Results: The prevalence of cerebral palsy was 11%, of all motor impairments 24%, of ophthalmic abnormalities 23%, and of speech delay 42%. No impairment was found in 42% of children, and 18% were classified as severely impaired. The prevalence of ophthalmic abnormalities decreased with increasing birth weight and gestational age, but the prevalence of other impairments did not. In the subcohort, a positive correlation was found between the date of birth and Bayley scores.
Conclusion: Ophthalmic abnormalities decreased with increasing birth weight and gestational age, but no other outcome differences were found between birthweight groups or in surviving ELBW infants born at 22–26 weeks gestation. The prognosis in the regional subcohort seemed to improve during the short study period, but this needs to be confirmed.
doi:10.1136/fn.88.1.F29
PMCID: PMC1756010  PMID: 12496223

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