[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AimTo evaluate the impact of unilateral hearing loss (UHL) on early aural/oral communication skills of infants by comparing performance to infants with bilateral normal hearing (BNH).Method
Thirty-four infants with UHL (median age 9.4mo, 25th–75th centile 7.34–12.15) and 331 control infants with BNH (median age 9mo, 6.0–13.38) were divided into two subgroups based on risk factors known to cause developmental delay: low risk and high risk. Early auditory skills and preverbal vocalizations were assessed using two parent questionnaires: the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale and the Production of Infants Scale Evaluation.ResultsOf the infants with UHL, 21% showed delays in auditory behaviour and 41% delays in preverbal vocalizations, compared to their peers with BNH (p<0.01). After adjusting for risk level, delayed auditory behaviour and preverbal vocalizations were approximately four and nine times more common in infants with UHL compared to BNH respectively (p<0.01).InterpretationThis is the first study to show that infants with UHL are at higher risk of delay in early aural/oral communication abilities compared to infants with BNH even in the absence of other known risk factors for developmental delay. This has important implications for early intervention and habilitation of infants with UHL, in order to reduce some of the negative long-term consequences of what was once considered ‘minor’ hearing loss.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of a multisensory intervention based on the developmental approach provided by parents, during neonatal intensive care unit hospitalization of their preterm infants. After guidance of parents and implementation of intervention program, children were followed up to 2 to 3 years using scales for evaluation of parental stress levels and child's development. Our 2 to 3 years' follow-up study included 41 infants (20 controls and 21 who received parental-guided intervention) as part of a group of 95 preterm infants who participated in a short-term study. The intervention group showed significantly higher scores in receptive language and fine-motor domains of the Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development-3rd Edition. Boys showed superior improvements in language skills. No differences were found in the cognitive and adaptive domains. There were no differences in parental stress levels. A multisensory intervention program for preterm infants provided by trained and supervised parents may improve language and motor outcomes at 2 to 3 years.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Child Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
To analyze the results of a neonatal universal screen for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) using saliva real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR).
During one year (15/5/2011-15/5/2012), saliva was collected from 9,845 infants (97% of 10,137 newborns). Viral DNA was extracted by Magna-Pure LC (Roche) and was tested for the presence of CMV IE and gB genes. Urine culture was collected from positive infants for confirmation. For all infants with congenital CMV maternal data were collected and head ultrasound, blood count, liver enzymes, retinal examination and auditory brainstem response testing were performed. Parents were notified in advance and had the option to avoid screening. The ethical committee approved retrospective analysis of the data.
Fifty six infants (0.57%) had a positive saliva assay. Of these, 47 were confirmed by urine rt-PCR and culture, in another one maternal sero-conversion was documented during pregnancy (48 infants). Twenty-eight mothers (28/47, 60%) had primary infection during pregnancy, 14 (30%) had non-primary infection, and no serological data were obtained from five (10%).Four infants (8.5%), two with prenatal diagnosis of CMV and normal fetal brain imaging and two born to mothers sero-positive before pregnancy, exhibited symptoms related to CMV and were offered antivirals. Hearing impairment was diagnosed in two infants (late onset HI in one case).
Saliva rt-PCR assay is a feasible and effective means of universal neonatal CMV screening that can detect affected infants who might benefit from treatment and follow-up. The long-term clinical significance of screening and its cost effectiveness are yet to be determined.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Clinical Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To ascertain the most common early morbidities in a cohort of infants born at 34-35 weeks gestation and to identify the risk factors associated with these morbidities. Methods: Retrospective analysis of data collected prospectively for all 235 infants born at 34-35 weeks of gestation during an eight-month period at a single tertiary medical center. Study group infants (SG) were compared with 470 term infants (TI), matched both for gender and for mode of delivery. Results: Jaundice requiring phototherapy (32%), respiratory disease (19.1%) and cyanotic episodes (15.7%) were the most frequent early morbidities, followed by hypoglycemia, temperature instability and feeding intolerance. The risk of having a complication was 13.3 times higher in the SG compared with the TI group (95% CI 8.9-19.6, p<0.001). Modifiable interventions associated with these morbidities were antenatal steroids, MgSO4 and mode of delivery. Non-modifiable factors were maternal age, parity, twins and gender. Conclusions: Jaundice requiring phototherapy, respiratory disease and cyanotic episodes are the most frequent early morbidities among infants born at 34-35 weeks. Medically modifiable factors were found to be associated with the above morbidities. Whether specific recommendations for the care of these infants will affect early morbidities needs to be studied in controlled prospective studies.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The present study investigated well-being and distress in 274 Israeli mothers of two-year-olds. Of these, 127 were mothers of singletons and 147 mothers of twins. The study examined the contribution to the explanation of well-being and distress of a range of variables relating to the mother, including: sociodemographic characteristics; internal resources (attachment style, self-differentiation, and maternal self-efficacy); and external resources (marital quality and grandmothers' support). The findings showed that being a mother of a singleton or twins did not contribute to the explanation of variance in well-being or distress. Marital quality provided the strongest explained variance for both well-being and distress. Mother's health, attachment anxiety and self-differentiation also explained significant amounts of the variance. Several differences were found in the contribution of certain other variables, such as maternal grandmother's support, which contributed only to well-being. The results indicated the lesser role of sociodemographic variables, as opposed to the centrality of personality traits and marital quality, in the relationships with well-being and distress. Practical implications are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To evaluate and compare growth parameters (weight, length and head circumference) of discordant preterm twins during the first year of life. Methods: Retrospective data were collected on 78 pairs of >10% discordant preterm twins. Data regarding short-term neonatal outcome was recorded. Growth parameters were recorded at birth and again at one year of age, as collected by phone interview. Results: At one year of age, the gap was significantly reduced between the group of smaller twins and the group of larger twins on all the parameters studied. Discordance in weight decreased from a mean of 22% at birth (calculated from the weight of the larger twin) to 8.9%, in length from 6.5 to 2.5% and in head circumference from 5.5% to 1.3% at one year of age. While length and HC z-scores improved in both the large and the small siblings, weight z-score decreased significantly among the large twins and decreased mildly among the small twins. Conclusions: The gaps in growth parameters between the smaller twins of preterm discordant twins and their larger siblings are significantly reduced during the first year of life. The impact of the differential growth patterns between the two siblings should be further evaluated.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bilateral adrenal hemorrhage can complicate severe sepsis in the neonate and is most commonly attributed to meningococcal disease; however, it can be caused by other etiologic agents as well. We report herein a fatal case of Enterobacter cloacae sepsis in a preterm infant, resulting in massive adrenal hemorrhages. This is the first documented case of adrenal hemorrhage following infection with this pathogen.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Fetal and pediatric pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To evaluate the effect of duration of early breastfeeding in the delivery room on blood glucose levels among term neonates of diabetic mothers.
Mothers with gestational diabetes were encouraged to breastfeed their infants immediately after birth in the delivery room. The breastfeeding duration was recorded by the midwife.
The longer duration of breastfeeding subgroup (n = 39) demonstrated a lower rate of hypoglycaemia in the first 8 hours of life (< 40 mg/dl) compared to the shorter duration subgroup (n = 40), but this difference did not reach statistical significance (2.6% vs. 17.5% respectively, p = 0.057). Hypoglycaemia was mainly predicted by lower cord glucose for each decrease of 10 mg/dl (OR 2.11 [CI 1.1-4.03] p = 0.024.
Longer duration of delivery room breastfeeding did not reduce the rate of hypoglycaemia, which was mainly influenced by lower cord blood glucose level.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Fetal and pediatric pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate paediatricians' attitudes and emotions toward parents who refuse to vaccinate their infants and to assess their reactions, suggestions and practices.
The study group consisted of 376 paediatricians in Israel, who completed the emailed research questionnaire anonymously.
Although the vast majority of paediatricians agreed that vaccination was in the baby's best interest (92.2%), only a small percentage (3.5%) felt that there should be some scientific justification behind a parent's refusal. The majority (70.7%) of those surveyed expressed negative feelings toward refusing parents. Despite this, more than a third (36.9%) agreed that parents have the right to decide (28.9% disagreed) and a third (36.8%) agreed that vaccinations should be officially enforced (35.8% disagreed). Only a very small percentage of the paediatricians (1.8%) said they would object to treating infants who had not been vaccinated.
Paediatricians face a conflict between two opposing values: the importance of immunisation versus the parents' rights to decide what is best for their own child. Therefore, they are in favour of gentle persuasion or official enforcement. We believe that experts in modern communication could help paediatricians to convey the positive benefits of vaccination to parents. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Children with sleep disorders tend to experience attention problems, yet little is known about the relationship between sleep and attention in early development. This prospective follow-up study investigated the longitudinal relationships between neonatal sleep, attention, and distraction in infants born preterm. Method: We used actigraphy and sleep-wake diaries in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU, N = 65), attention orienting in a visual-recognition-memory task (VRM) at age 4 months, and structured observation of attention and distractibility at age 18 months. Results: Infants with poorer neonatal sleep (n = 31) exhibited longer first gaze durations in the VRM at 4 months and longer distraction episodes at 18 months relative to neonatal controls who slept well (p < .01). Hierarchical regression models support relations between neonatal sleep and gaze behavior at 4 months and distractibility at 18 months; moreover, alterations in orienting attention at 4 months predicted the likelihood of being distracted during the second year of life. Conclusions: Findings underscore the importance of early sleep-wake and attention regulation in the development of distraction in infants born preterm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital cytomegalovirus (C-CMV) infection affects 0.4-2% of newborn infants in Israel, most of whom are asymptomatic. Of these, 10-20% will subsequently develop hearing impairment and may have benetitted from early detection by neonatal screeing.
To retrospectively anaIyze the results of a screening program for C-CMV performed at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel, Hashomer, during a 1 year period, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) from umbilical cord blood.
CMV DNA was detected by rt-PCR performed on infants' cord blood. C-CMV was confirmed by urine culture (Shell-vial). All confirmed cases were further investigated for C-CMV manifestations by head ultrasound, complete blood count, liver enzyme measurement, ophthalmology examination and hearing investigation.
During the period 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2010, 11,022 infants were born at the Sheba Medical Center, of whom 8105 (74%) were screened. Twenty-three (0.28%) were positive for CMV and 22 of them (96%) were confirmed by urine culture. Two additional infants, who had not been screened, were detected after clinical suspicion. All 24 infants were further Investigated, and 3 (12.5%) had central nervous system involvement (including hearing impairment) and were offered intravenous ganciclovir for 6 weeks. Eighteen infants (82%) would not otherwise have been diagnosed.
The relatively low incidence of C-CMV detected in our screening program probably reflects the low sensitivity of cord blood screening. Nevertheless, this screening program reliably detected a non-negligible number of infants who could benefit from early detection. Other screening methods using saliva should be investigated further.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) medications are commonly in use during pregnancy. Objectives: To evaluate short-term neonatal clinical signs among infants exposed to intrauterine SRI medications, in order to estimate the need for postnatal monitoring and observation. Methods: Retrospective review of clinical data in medical files of term infants born to mothers who reported treatment with SRIs during pregnancy. Results: Out of 401 infants in the study group, 165 (41%) were reported to have at least 1 clinical symptom, including respiratory distress, jitteriness, restlessness, feeding difficulties, regurgitations, fever ≥38°C, a short cyanotic event and convulsions. In the symptomatic group, 70% exhibited mild symptoms, among them restlessness, jitteriness or feeding difficulties, while around 30% exhibited significant symptoms. Overall, 12% of the total cohort, mostly males (70%), presented significant clinical symptoms, but none had an urgent or life-threatening condition. Infants in the study group were shorter in length and had a higher rate of Apgar score <7 at 1 min, meconium-stained amniotic fluid and respiratory distress. Conclusions: Despite the high incidence of clinical signs among infants born to SRI-treated mothers, most of their symptoms were mild and self-limited. These infants should be observed while they are close to their mothers on the maternity ward for 48 h after birth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim:
To longitudinally assess the neurodevelopmental outcomes of late preterm infants (LPI) through the first year of life and to investigate for perinatal conditions that may affect developmental outcomes.
The study population comprised of 124 LPI, born in a single Israeli inborn center over an eight months period. Thirty-three term infants (TI) were recruited for comparison. Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) for gross motor evaluation was performed at 6 months of age and the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS) were performed at 12 months (chronological age). Maternal and neonatal covariates, potentially associated with low developmental scores, were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression models.
At chronological age of 6 and 12 months, LPI performed significantly lower than TI on all subscales, but when scores were corrected for post conception age, developmental scores were similar in the two groups. In a multivariate model of logistic regression, male gender, emergent cesarean section and higher maternal education (>14 years) were found to be associated with increased risk for lower developmental scores at 12 month of age in LPI.
LPI do not complete their neurodevelopmental maturation by the first year of life. Males and those born after emergent cesarean section (CS) are at increased risk for lower developmental scores. Correction of age to term birth in LPI may still be needed at this age.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Hyperhomocysteinemia may be associated with vascular complications in adults. Whereas pediatric thrombosis risk peaks in neonates, data on homocysteine (Hcy) levels assessed in term and preterm infants during the perinatal period are scarce. In the present study, we aimed to establish Hcy reference values for preterm infants and study their potential associations with the early post-natal health status. Plasma Hcy and hematocrit levels and MTHFR polymorphisms (C677T and A1298C substitution) were studied in a large cohort of preterm infants in a tertiary referral medical center during an 18-month period. Data were collected on maternal history and delivery as well as on post-natal complications.
The study cohort included 167 infants whose mean gestational age was 30.98 ± 2.34 weeks (range: 26-36 weeks), mean birth weight 1327.6 ± 327 g, and mean Hcy level 7.99 ± 3.27 (range: 2.2-21.2) µmol/L. Maternal intake of folic acid was inversely associated with the babies' Hcy levels (P = 0.0001). Increased Hcy levels positively correlated with birth weight, gestational age (P < 0.005), total number of pregnancies (P = 0.012), and presence of MTHFR polymorphism. Higher Hcy levels were associated with feeding (P = 0.008), especially total parenteral nutrition (P = 0.0001). There was no correlation between Hcy levels and any vascular post-natal complications.
During their post-natal hospitalization, preterm infants may have relatively high, that is, within the adult normal range, Hcy levels which are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Despite the fact that no correlation was found between Hcy levels and post-natal complications, these associations should be further studied.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim:
To determine perinatal parameters among term newborn infants born by vaginal delivery with meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) that needed paediatrician assistance.
Paediatricians who were in attendance in the delivery room due to MSAF among term infants completed 775 reports regarding the infants' delivery conditions, and the assistance provided. We defined 'paediatrician attendance needed' for a subgroup of infants for whom we retrospectively determined that paediatrician attendance in the delivery room was required.
'Paediatrician attendance needed' was determined in 31 (4%) cases. Among cases with documented normal foetal monitor, only 10 (1.8%) were defined as 'paediatrician attendance needed', a percentage significantly lower than among infants born following non-reassuring foetal monitor: 21 (9.7%) (p < 0.001). 'Paediatrician attendance needed' was predicted by non-reassuring foetal monitor [OR 6.02 (CI 2.72-13.31), p < 0.001], maternal fever [OR 6.34 (1.92-20.92), p = 0.002] and younger maternal age (for every year) [OR 0.889 (CI 0.82-0.96), p = 0.003].
Term newborn infants born by vaginal delivery with MSAF with documented normal tracing foetal monitor are at low risk of the need for paediatrician assistance. Paediatrician attendance in the delivery room in labour involving MSAF should be recommended when non-reassuring foetal monitor tracing is observed and should also be considered when maternal fever is recorded, and/or thick meconium is observed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) is a risk factor for neonatal hypoglycemia. Retrospective recording of medical charts of full-term infants born following observation of meconium-stained amniotic fluid to examine glucose levels in the first hours of life. Out of 803 infants of the study group, 68 (8.5%) had glucose levels lower than 47 mg/dl. Most (6.7%) had mild hypoglycemia, and 14 (1.8%) had moderate or severe hypoglycemia (1.4% and 0.4% respectively). No infant developed clinical signs clearly related to hypoglycemia. Low-risk infants born following meconium-stained amniotic fluid are not at increased risk for neonatal hypoglycemia.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Fetal and pediatric pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate rates of early short-term neonatal complications among term singleton newborn infants with oligohydramnios.
Retrospective data were collected on 456 term infants with prenatal diagnosis of oligohydramnios and on matched controls, including information on maternal condition and on infant perinatal complications.
Infants in the study group were born with lower birthweight and were SGA compared with those in the control group. Rates of renal malformations were significantly higher in the study group compared with the controls (15-3.3% and 3-0.7%, respectively; p = 0.007). Among the severe oligohydramnios subgroup (Amniotic Fluid Index <2), renal anomalies were even more prevalent compared to other infants with oligohydramnios and to the controls (6-9.8%, 9-2.3% and 3-0.7%, respectively; p < 0.001). The incidence of skeletal deformities (developmental dislocation of hip and torticollis) was higher among the study group.
Term infants with oligohydramnios that was detected near birth are associated with a greater prevalence of renal malformations (mostly mild hydronephrosis) as well as congenital torticollis and developmental dislocated hips compared with controls. Postnatal renal evaluation should be considered in infants with severe oligohydramnios.