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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   

Minerva Pediatrica 2019 February;71(1):12-20

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.16.04609-0

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Morbidity and mortality of preterm infants less than 26 weeks of gestational age

Maria I. da CUNHA DURÃES 1 , Filipa FLOR-DE-LIMA 1, 2, Gustavo ROCHA 2, Henrique SOARES 1, 2, Hercília GUIMARÃES 2

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Porto University, Porto, Portugal; 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, São João Hospital, Porto, Portugal



BACKGROUND: Extreme preterm infants have a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Newborns delivered between 23+0 and 25+6 weeks, are considered to be in the “gray zone” and have uncertain prognosis. For these children medical decision-making becomes complex and controversial. The present study intends to evaluate the neonatal morbidity and mortality of preterm infants born between 23 weeks and 25+6 weeks of gestational age.
METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted including all inborn preterm infants, with a gestational age between 23+0 and 25+6 weeks, admitted to a level IIIC NICU, between January 1st, 1996 and December 31st, 2014.
RESULTS: A total of 72 preterm neonates were included, 18.1% had a full cycle of antenatal steroids. The most frequent major morbidities were RDS (95.4%), patent ductus arteriosus (81.3%), sepsis (55.7%, being 19.7% early sepsis, and 36.1% late sepsis), intraventricular hemorrhage (34.4%), retinopathy of prematurity (21.9%) and necrotizing enterocolitis (10.9%). Fifty-four (75%) children died. The only factor adjusted to age associated with high mortality founded was hypotension (OR=4.99, P<0.019). Morbidity at discharge was: severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (77.8%), retinopathy of prematurity (72.2%), intraventricular hemorrhage (16.7%), cystic periventricular leukomalacia (11.1%), and sequalae of necrotizing enterocolitis (5.6%).
CONCLUSIONS: The survival rate was 25% and a high morbidity at discharge was observed, which leave us with the huge responsibility to improve this result in a near future. Extreme prematurity is still a very controversial and complex issue and particular challenge for neonatologists. The use of antenatal steroid in the more immature preterm infants should be encouraged.


KEY WORDS: Fetal viability - Premature birth - Extremely low birth weight infant - Neonatal intensive care units - Infant mortality

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