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Review Article   

Minerva Pediatrics 2022 Apr 04

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.22.06714-3


language: English

Consequences of early-onset preeclampsia on neonatal morbidity and mortality: a narrative review

Gustavo ROCHA

Department of Neonatology, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Porto, Portugal


IMPORTANCE: Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Common reasons for indicated preterm births include preeclampsia. The increase in incidences of morbidity and mortality observed in neonates resulting from pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia is also due to alterations in angiogenic and pro-inflammatory factors that directly affect the neonatal health. This review was prepared with the aim of gathering the information available at PubMed/MEDLINE, in the years from 2011 to 2021, on the consequences of neonatal morbidity and mortality of early-onset preeclampsia.
OBSERVATIONS: There is great controversy in the literature and paucity of studies. Early onset pre-eclampsia has been linked to fetal growth restriction (FGR). Most studies support its association with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Most studies point to an association between preeclampsia and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), with the highest risk in FGR. The association between preeclampsia, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and sepsis is not supported by the literature. The association to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is controversial. The risk of spontaneous intestinal perforation (SIP) seems to be increased with preeclampsia. The association between intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and preeclampsia is controversial, however, preeclampsia seems to have a protective effect on periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Most of the evidence points to the non-association between preeclampsia and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Hematological changes such as neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and increased nucleated red blood cell counts have been shown to be associated with preeclampsia. The evidence is still quite controversial regarding mortality.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The early installation of preeclampsia will have direct consequences on neonatal morbidity. Gestational age at preterm birth is the main risk factor on neonatal morbidity. Obstetricians should aim to prolong the pregnancies complicated by early-onset severe preeclampsia as far as maternal conditions allow. This policy may contribute to improve the neonatal outcomes.

KEY WORDS: Preeclampsia; Neonate; Morbidity; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Fetal growth restriction

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