Article

Microbiologic and histologic characteristics of the extremely preterm infant's placenta predict white matter damage and later cerebral palsy. the ELGAN study.

Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.84). 10/2009; 67(1):95-101. DOI: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181bf5fab
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inflammatory phenomena seem to contribute to the occurrence of perinatal cerebral white matter damage and CP. The stimulus that initiates the inflammation remains obscure. One thousand two hundred forty-six infants born before the 28th postmenstrual week had a protocol ultrasound scan of the brain read concordantly by two independent sonologists. Eight hundred ninety-nine of the children had a neurologic examination at approximately 24-mo postterm equivalent. The placenta of each child had been biopsied under sterile conditions and later cultured. Histologic slides of the placenta were examined specifically for this study. Recovery of a single microorganism predicted an echolucent lesion, whereas polymicrobial cultures and recovery of skin flora predicted both ventriculomegaly and an echolucent lesion. Diparetic CP was predicted by recovery of a single microorganism, multiple organisms, and skin flora. Histologic inflammation predicted ventriculomegaly and diparetic CP. The risk of ventriculomegaly associated with organism recovery was heightened when accompanied by histologic inflammation, but the risk of diparetic CP was not. Low-virulence microorganisms isolated from the placenta, including common skin microflora, predict ultrasound lesions of the brain and diparetic CP in the very preterm infant. Organism recovery does not seem to be needed for placenta inflammation to predict diparetic CP.

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