Immediate versus delayed umbilical cord clamping in premature neonates born < 35 weeks: a prospective, randomized, controlled study

Amir Kugelman, Liron Borenstein-Levin, Arieh Riskin, Irena Chistyakov, Gonen Ohel, Ron Gonen, David Bader
American Journal of Perinatology 2007, 24 (5): 307-15
The purpose of this study was to test whether delayed versus immediate cord clamping would result in higher blood pressure (BP) and hematocrit (Hct), and to assess its clinical effects on the neonatal course in premature neonates (< 35 weeks). This was a prospective, masked, randomized, controlled study. Prior to delivery, 35 neonates were randomly assigned to immediate cord clamping (ICC) at 5 to 10 seconds, and a comparable group of 30 neonates were randomly assigned to delayed cord clamping (DCC) at 30 to 45 seconds. Intention-to-treat analyses revealed that the DCC group tended to have higher initial diastolic BP and higher Hct (especially in vaginally delivered neonates). Infants weighing < 1500 g with DCC tended to have higher mean BP, and needed less mechanical ventilation and surfactant compared with ICC neonates. Infants with DCC did not experience more polycythemia (Hct > 60%), but had a trend toward higher bilirubin levels with no differences in the phototherapy needs. DCC seems to be safe and may be beneficial when compared with ICC in premature neonates. However, the differences between the two methods were modest and the clinical relevance needs to be assessed further by larger studies and additional meta-analysis of randomized trials.

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