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Morbidity and development in childhood of infants born after temporising treatment of early onset pre-eclampsia

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To assess morbidity and development in childhood of infants born after temporising management of severe early onset pre-eclampsia. Design 

Cohort study with matched controls. Setting 

University centre for high risk obstetrics. Samples 

Three groups of neonates matched for gender and year of birth: one born after temporising treatment of severe early onset (<32 weeks) pre-eclampsia with an average delay of delivery of two weeks (n= 193); one born at the duration of pregnancy [1 week] of the pre-eclamptic mother on admission (control group I, n = 192); and one born at the same gestational age [1 week] as the infant of the pre-eclamptic mother (control group II, n= 189). Method 

Follow up at four years of age or more using medical records and questionnaires. Main outcome measures 

The presence of various morbidities including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, motor skill problems, visual handicap, hearing loss, speech and language problems, education level and acute or chronic respiratory problems. Results 

Median follow up of seven years (range 4–12) was achieved in 159 infants in the study group (83%), 122 in control group I (64%) and 110 in control group II (58%). Missing data analysis showed no differences in neonatal characteristics and morbidity between infants with and without follow up in the study group. All major and minor handicaps were less frequent in the study group than in control group I but statistical significance was reached only for acute and chronic respiratory disorders in the study group (13.8%) compared with control group I (27%). Conclusion 

Average delay of delivery of two weeks with temporising management in severe early onset pre-eclampsia is associated with a reduced risk of respiratory disorders in childhood.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: July 1, 2005


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