Survival, short-term morbidity of extremely low gestational age infants and their predictors


Survival, short-term morbidity of extremely low gestational age infants and their predictors


Kis H; Lemyre B; Radonjic A; Feberova J


Paediatrics and Child Health




Infant; sepsis; cohort analysis; controlled study; female; human; male; retrospective study; perception; palliative therapy; Pregnancy; stillbirth; gender; necrotizing enterocolitis; clinical article; gestational age; neonatal intensive care unit; prevalence; infant; conference abstract; birth weight; corticosteroid; length of stay; mortality risk; Gestational Age; brain hemorrhage; regression analysis; univariate analysis; survival prediction; encephalomalacia; morbidity; lung dysplasia; probability; retrolental fibroplasia


BACKGROUND: Despite advances in neonatal care for extremely low gestational age (ELGA) infants, they experience high rates of mortality and morbidity. Local data on survival, predictors, and outcomes of ELGA infants is crucial in order to provide accurate antenatal counseling. <br/>OBJECTIVE(S): To determine the survival and morbidities of ELGA infants in our region stratified by gestational age. DESIGN/METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of infants born at <26 weeks gestational age who received intensive care at two level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units between January 1st 2014 and December 31st 2017. We excluded stillbirths and infants who received only palliative care from birth. Outcomes included survival to discharge home (or transfer to another center), length of admission, and the following short-term morbidities: intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) grade III - IV, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) Bell's Stage >=2, late-onset sepsis, and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) requiring treatment. A multivariable regression analysis was performed to analyze three factors identified as significant (p<.05) on univariate analysis. <br/>RESULT(S): 117 infants were included: 8 infants at 22 weeks, 20 at 23 weeks, 38 at 24 weeks, and 51 at 25 weeks. The rates of survival were 37.5%, 50.0%, 68.4%, and 76.5% at 22, 23, 24, and 25 weeks, respectively. The probability of survival was similar for infants born at 22 and 23 weeks GA and significantly lower than for infants born at 24 and 25 weeks (fig.1). The mean (+/-SD) length of stay in the NICU was 114.6 +/- 33.7 days. The overall prevalence of short-term morbidities was 25.9% for IVH grade III - IV, 5.4% for PVL, 89.9% for BPD, 16.1% for NEC, 40.0% for late-onset sepsis, and 19.3% for ROP requiring treatment. Only 2.7% of infants who survived >=36 weeks (post-menstrual age) had no short-term morbidities. The multivariable regression analysis demonstrated: an increased risk of mortality for every 100g decrease in birth weight (OR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.40 - 1.98; p =.02), an increased risk of mortality for an incomplete course of antenatal corticosteroids (OR=1.58; 95% CI: 1.2 - 1.78; p =.008), and no effect of gender on mortality over time (OR=1.38; 95% CI: 0.8 - 1.68; p=.15). <br/>CONCLUSION(S): ELGA infants from our region faced similarly high rates of mortality and major short-term morbidity compared to other Canadian centers. Infants born at 22 and 23 weeks experienced similar survival trajectories, which should be further explored as it may influence clinical perceptions of viability at 22 weeks. (Figure Presented).


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Kis H; Lemyre B; Radonjic A; Feberova J, “Survival, short-term morbidity of extremely low gestational age infants and their predictors,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 23, 2024,