Five-minute Apgar score and outcomes in neonates of 24-28 weeks gestation

Prakesh S. Shah*, Mikael Norman, Franca Rusconi, Satoshi Kusuda, Brian Reichman, Malcolm Battin, Dirk Bassler, Neena Modi, Stellan Hakansson, Jie Yang, Shoo K. Lee, Kjell Helenius, Maximo Vento, Liisa Lehtonen, Mark Adams, Tetsuya Isayama, Kei Lui, Luigi Gagliardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To assess associations between 5 min Apgar score and mortality and severe neurological injury (SNI) and to report test characteristics in preterm neonates. Design, setting and patients Retrospective cohort study of neonates 240 to 286 weeks gestation born between 2007 and 2016 and admitted to neonatal units in 11 high-income countries. Exposure 5 min Apgar score. Main outcome measures In-hospital mortality and SNI defined as grade 3 or 4 periventricular/ intraventricular haemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia. Outcome rates were calculated for each Apgar score and compared after adjustment. The diagnostic characteristics and ORs for each value from 0 versus 1-10 to 0-9 versus 10, with 1-point increments were calculated. Results Among 92 412 included neonates, as 5 min Apgar score increased from 0 to 10, mortality decreased from 60% to 8%. However, no clear increasing or decreasing pattern was identified for SNI. There was an increase in sensitivity and decrease in specificity for both mortality and SNI associated with increasing scores. The Apgar score alone had an area under the curve of 0.64 for predicting mortality, which increased to 0.73 with the addition of gestational age. Conclusions In neonates of 24-28 weeks gestation admitted to neonatal units, higher 5 min Apgar score was associated with lower mortality in a graded manner, while the association with SNI remained relatively constant at all scores. Among survivors, low Apgar scores did not predict SNI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F437-F446
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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