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Intrauterine infection with Ureaplasma species is associated with adverse neuromotor outcome at 1 and 2 years adjusted age in preterm infants.

AIMS: To evaluate the association between the presence of bacterial pathogens in the amniotic cavity at the time of preterm delivery and neuromotor outcome at two years adjusted age in preterm infants born at < or =33 weeks' gestation.

METHODS: The cohort included 114 preterm infants, born at 23-33 weeks' gestation to mothers with amniotic cavity cultures taken during cesarean delivery who were subsequently evaluated at 24.0+/-1.1 months corrected age with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II and a standardized neurologic examination.

RESULTS: A group of 67 infants with negative amniotic cavity cultures was compared to 47 infants with positive amniotic cavity cultures (Ureaplasma urealyticum (Uu) in 32 cases and other bacteria in 15 cases). Patients with positive amniotic cavity cultures had a significantly higher risk for an adverse psychomotor development index (PDI) score (OR 3.1, CI 1.3-7.1), an abnormal neurologic outcome (OR 4.8, CI 1.7-13.8), and a higher probability for diagnosis of cerebral palsy (OR 4.8, CI 1.4-16.4) at two years compared to patients with negative culture results. Isolation of Uu at birth was associated with a particular adverse outcome of preterm infants.

CONCLUSIONS: Isolation of pathogens from the amniotic cavity at birth is significantly associated with abnormal PDI and adverse neuromotor outcome in preterm infants, irrespective of gestational age and birthweight.

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