Neonatal and neurodevelopmental outcome in infants born before 30 weeks of gestation with absent or reversed end-diastolic flow velocities in the umbilical artery
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UNLABELLED: The objective of our study was to examine the outcome of infants born at a gestational age < 30 weeks with absent or reversed end-diastolic flow velocity (AREDFV) in the umbilical artery in comparison with gestational age-matched eutrophic controls. A group of 40 infants who had AREDFV were matched for gestational age and date of birth with 40 appropriate for gestational age infants. Perinatal outcome variables were retrospectively reviewed. In 16 out of the 40 matched pairs, a standardized neurological examination was done and, depending on age, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children or the Bayley Scales of Infant Development were applied at a corrected age of 13 to 100 months to assess neurodevelopmental outcome. The results were compared using Fisher's Exact Test or Mann Whitney U Tests as appropriate. In the AREDFV group, 26/40 (65%) survived until discharge compared to 39/40 (97.5%) in the control group (P < 0.001). AREDFV was associated with a higher rate of chronic lung disease, retinopathy of prematurity > or = grade III and impaired intestinal motility. More AREDFV infants suffered from permanent neurological sequelae compared with control infants: 44% versus 25% were mentally retarded (P = 0.033), and 38% versus 19% showed severe motor impairment (P = 0.073). CONCLUSION: Absent or reversed end-diastolic flow velocity is not only associated with a higher mortality and morbidity during the neonatal period, but the surviving infants of this high risk group have an increased risk for mental retardation and severe motor impairment as compared with appropriate for gestational age preterm infants of the same gestational age.
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