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PURPOSE - To determine if fibroids or their characteristics are associated with birthweight and/or gestational age, and to assess the impact of race or ethnicity.
METHODS - Right from the Start (2000-2012) is a prospective cohort that enrolled women from the southern US in early pregnancy. Transvaginal ultrasounds were used to measure fibroid characteristics and confirm gestational age. Date of birth and birthweight were obtained from vital or medical records. We assessed whether fibroid presence, number, type, and volume were associated with birthweight and/or gestational age using multivariate analysis of covariance, accounting for a priori confounders.
RESULTS - Among 3926 women, 416 had one or more fibroids. Mean infant birthweight and gestational age were similar among women with and without fibroids. When adjusting for race or ethnicity, all associations were attenuated. Overall, women with and without fibroids had infants of similar birthweight (-20 grams, 95% confidence interval [CI] -77, 36) and gestational age (0.4 days, 95% CI -0.9, 1.8). Women with three or more fibroids were more likely to have lighter infants (-201 grams, 95% CI -345, -58).
CONCLUSIONS - Race or ethnicity substantially confounds the associations. The clinical belief that uterine fibroids impair fetal growth is supported only by a significant decrease in birthweight for women with multiple fibroids.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are commonly used biomarkers, but their diagnostic advantage for neonatal early-onset (EOS) or late-onset (LOS) sepsis is controversial. In a comprehensive literature review we found significant heterogeneity between studies in sample timing, cut-off values, consideration of blood culture results for sepsis classification, and definition of EOS versus LOS. We identified 39 studies directly comparing PCT with CRP, but only four in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates. The mean sensitivity for EOS, LOS, and EOS + LOS was 73.6%, 88.9%, and 76.5% for PCT, compared to 65.6%, 77.4%, and 66.4% for CRP, respectively. Mean specificity of PCT and CRP was 82.8% versus 82.7% for EOS, 75.6% versus 81.7% for LOS, and 80.4% versus 91.3% for EOS + LOS. More studies directly comparing both biomarkers for EOS and LOS, especially in extremely and very-low-birth-weight infants, are needed to determine their clinical value for guidance of antibiotic therapy in neonatal sepsis.
Optimal management of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is unclear. One treatment, surgical ligation, is associated with adverse outcomes. We reviewed data from the Kids' Inpatient Database (2000-2012) to determine if PDA ligation rates: (1) changed over time, (2) varied geographically, or (3) influenced surgical complication rates. In 2012, 47,900 infants <1500g birth weight were born in the United States, including 2,800 undergoing PDA ligation (5.9%). Ligation was more likely in infants <1000g (85.9% vs. 46.2%), and associated with necrotizing enterocolitis (59.2% vs. 37.5%), BPD (54.6% vs. 15.2%), severe intraventricular hemorrhage (16.4% vs. 5.3%), and hospital transfer (37.6% vs. 16.4%). Ligation rates peaked in 2006 at 87.4 per 1000 hospital births, dropping to 58.8 in 2012, and were consistently higher in Western states. Infants undergoing ligation were more likely to experience comorbidities. Rates of ligation-associated vocal cord paralysis increased over time (1.2-3.9%); however, mortality decreased (12.4-6.5%). Thus, PDA ligation has become less frequent, although infants being ligated are smaller and more medically complex. Despite increase in some complications, mortality rates improved perhaps reflecting advances in care.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION - The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend the same immunization schedule for preterm and term infants. However, significant delays in vaccination of premature infants have been reported.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of this study was to assess the variability of immunization practices in preterm infants.
STUDY DESIGN - We conducted an online survey of 2,443 neonatologists in the United States, who are members of the Section for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine of the AAP. Questions were targeted at immunization practices in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
RESULTS - Of the 420 responses (17%) received, 55% of providers administer the first vaccine at >2-month chronological age. Most providers (83%) surveyed reported delaying vaccines in the setting of clinical illness. Sixty percent reported increasing frequency of apnea-bradycardia events following immunization. More than half administer the initial vaccines over several days despite lack of supporting data. Reported considerations in delaying or spreading out 2-month vaccines were clinical instability, provider preference, lower gestational age, and lower birth weight.
CONCLUSION - This survey substantiates the variability of immunizations practices in the NICU and identifies reasons for this variability. Future studies should inform better practice guidance for immunization of preterm NICU patients based on vaccine safety and effectiveness.
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The prenatal environment is now recognized as a key driver of non-communicable disease risk later in life. Within the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) paradigm, studies are increasingly identifying links between maternal morbidity during pregnancy and disease later in life for offspring. Nutrient restriction, metabolic disorders during gestation, such as diabetes or obesity, and maternal immune activation provoked by infection have been linked to adverse health outcomes for offspring later in life. These factors frequently co-occur, but the potential for compounding effects of multiple morbidities on DOHaD-related outcomes has not received adequate attention. This is of particular importance in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs), which have ongoing high rates of infectious diseases and are now experiencing transitions from undernutrition to excess adiposity. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize studies examining the effect and interaction of co-occurring metabolic or nutritional stressors and infectious diseases during gestation on DOHaD-related health outcomes. We identified nine studies in humans - four performed in the United States and five in LMICs. The most common outcome, also in seven of nine studies, was premature birth or low birth weight. We identified nine animal studies, six in mice, two in rats and one in sheep. The interaction between metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious exposures had varying effects including synergism, inhibition and independent actions. No human studies were specifically designed to assess the interaction of metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious diseases. Future studies of neonatal outcomes should measure these exposures and explicitly examine their concerted effect.
Although currently available data are variable, it appears that the incidence of surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) has not decreased significantly over the past decade. Pneumoperitoneum and clinical deterioration despite maximal medical therapy remain the most common indications for operative treatment. Robust studies linking outcomes with specific indications for operation are lacking. Promising biomarkers for severe NEC include fecal calprotectin and S100A12; serum fatty acid-binding protein; and urine biomarkers. Recent advances in ultrasonography make this imaging modality more useful in identifying surgical NEC and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is being actively studied. Another fairly recent finding is that regionalization of care for infants with NEC likely improves outcomes. The neurodevelopmental outcomes after surgical treatment are known to be poor. A randomized trial near completion will provide robust data regarding neurodevelopmental outcomes after laparotomy versus drainage as the initial operative treatment for severe NEC.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - This review is written from the perspective of the pediatric clinician involved in the care of premature infants at risk for pulmonary hypertension. The main objective is to better inform the clinician in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension in premature infants by reviewing the available relevant literature and focusing on the areas for which there is the greatest need for continued research.
RECENT FINDINGS - Continued knowledge regarding the epidemiology of pulmonary hypertension in the premature infant population has aided better diagnostic screening algorithms. Included in this knowledge, is the association of pulmonary hypertension in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). However, it is also known that beyond BPD, low birth weight and other conditions that result in increased systemic inflammation are associated with pulmonary hypertension. This information has led to the recent recommendation that all infants with BPD should have an echocardiogram to evaluate for evidence of pulmonary hypertension prior to discharge from the neonatal ICU.
SUMMARY - Pulmonary hypertension can be a significant comorbidity for premature infants. This review aims to focus the clinician on the available literature to improve recognition of the condition to allow for more timely interventions.
Infants with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are at increased risk for neonatal and lifelong morbidities affecting multiple organ systems including the intestinal tract. The underlying mechanisms for the risk to the intestine remain poorly understood. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that IUGR affects the development of goblet and Paneth cell lineages, thus compromising the innate immunity and barrier functions of the epithelium. Using a mouse model of maternal thromboxane A2-analog infusion to elicit maternal hypertension and resultant IUGR, we tested whether IUGR alters ileal maturation and specifically disrupts mucus-producing goblet and antimicrobial-secreting Paneth cell development. We measured body weights, ileal weights and ileal lengths from birth to postnatal day (P) 56. We also determined the abundance of goblet and Paneth cells and their mRNA products, localization of cellular tight junctions, cell proliferation, and apoptosis to interrogate cellular homeostasis. Comparison of the murine findings with human IUGR ileum allowed us to verify observed changes in the mouse were relevant to clinical IUGR. At P14 IUGR mice had decreased ileal lengths, fewer goblet and Paneth cells, reductions in Paneth cell specific mRNAs, and decreased cell proliferation. These findings positively correlated with severity of IUGR. Furthermore, the decrease in murine Paneth cells was also seen in human IUGR ileum. IUGR disrupts the normal trajectory of ileal development, particularly affecting the composition and secretory products of the epithelial surface of the intestine. We speculate that this abnormal intestinal development may constitute an inherent "first hit", rendering IUGR intestine susceptible to further injury, infection, or inflammation.