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Periventricular hemorrhagic infarction in preterm neonates: Etiology and time of development.

BACKGROUND: To find the obstetrical and delivery associated risk factors of antenatal and postnatal grade III intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) or periventricular hemorrhagic infarction (PVHI) in preterm neonates.

METHODS: A retrospective study of obstetric and delivery associated risk factors included neonates (<35 gestational weeks) with severe IVH/PVHI (n = 120) and a prospectively collected control group (n = 50). The children were divided into: (1) antenatal onset group (n = 27) with insult visible on cerebral ultrasonography within the first 12 hours of birth or periventricular cystic changes visible in PVHI within the first 3 days; (2) neonatal onset group (n = 70) with insult diagnosed after initial normal findings or I-II grade IVH, and (3) unknown time-onset group (n = 23) with insult visible at >  12 h of age.

RESULTS: The mothers of the antenatal onset group had significantly more bacterial infections before delivery compared to the neonatal onset group: 20/27 (74.1%) versus 23/69 (33.3%), (odds ratio (OR) 5.7 [95% confidence interval 2.1-16]; p = 0.0008) or compared to the control group (11/50 (22%); OR 11 [2.8-42]; p = 0.0005). Placental histology revealed chorioamnionitis more often in the antenatal compared to the neonatal onset group (14/21 (66.7%) versus 16/42 (38.1%), respectively; OR 3.7 [1.18-11]; p = 0.025). Neonates with neonatal development of severe IVH/PVHI had significantly more complications during delivery or intensive care.

CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial infection during pregnancy is an important risk factor for development of antenatal onset severe IVH or PVHI. In neonates born to mothers with severe bacterial infection during pregnancy, cerebral ultrasonography is indicated for early detection of severe IVH or PVHI.

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