Neonatal outcome in growth-restricted versus appropriately grown preterm infants

M. J. Simchen*, M. E. Beiner, N. Strauss-Liviathan, M. Dulitzhy, J. Kuint, S. Mashiach, E. Schiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to examine whether growth-restricted preterm infants have a different neonatal outcome than appropriately grown preterm infants. All consecutive, singleton preterm deliveries between 27-35 weeks' gestation were included over a 4-year period. Infants with congenital anomalies and infants of diabetic mothers were excluded. Infants were categorized as small-for-gestational-age (SGA) when birth weight was at or below the 10th percentile, and appropriate-forgestational-age (AGA) when between the 11th and 90th percentiles. Outcome variables included: neonatal death, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Neonatal morbidity and mortality were examined by univariate and stepwise multivariate logistic regression analyses. Factors controlled for during the analysis included: maternal age; gestational age; mode of delivery; presence of preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, prolonged premature rupture of membranes (PROM), placental abruption, placenta previa, prenatal steroid exposure, infant gender, and low Apgar score. Seventy-six infants were included in the SGA group and 209 in the AGA group. SGA infants had a higher mortality rate (p = 0.003). They also had more culture-proven sepsis episodes (p = 0.001). No differences were found with respect to the other outcomes. The results were similar when analyzed separately for the group of infants born at or below 32 weeks' gestation. Growth-restricted preterm infants were found to have both higher mortality and infection rates compared with AGA preterm infants. Growth restriction in the preterm neonate was not found to protect against other neonatal outcomes associated with prematurity. When considering elective preterm delivery for this high-risk group of pregnancies, the increased risks in the neonatal period should be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • IUGR
  • Neonatal outcome
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Preterm
  • SGA


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