To assess the association of neurodevelopmental outcome with the placental diagnosis of chorioamnionitis in very low-birth-weight infants.
One hundred seventy-seven surviving very low-birth-weight infants, 22 to 29 weeks’ gestational age, born after varying severity of chorioamnionitis, were evaluated at a mean ± SD age of 19 ± 6 months’ corrected age with Bayley Scales of Infant Development II and neurologic examination. Select maternal and infant variables were abstracted from the medical records. Neonatal morbidities, Mental Developmental Index (MDI) score, Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) score, probability of normal MDI and PDI scores (>84), and cerebral palsy between the chorioamnionitis and the control groups were assessed, controlling for gestational age, sex, and the maternal use of steroids and antibiotics.
The chorioamnionitis group of 102 infants was compared with 75 control infants (mean ± SD birth weight, 947 ± 236 g and 966 ± 219 g, respectively; mean ± SD gestational age, 26.1 ± 2.8 weeks and 27.1 ± 1.5 weeks, respectively). Infants with chorioamnionitis, compared with controls, had a significantly higher incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage (30% vs 13%) and retinopathy of prematurity (68% vs 42%). Cerebral palsy was diagnosed in 8.6% of the infants with chorioamnionitis and 6.6% of the controls. The MDI and PDI scores were similar between the chorioamnionitis and control groups (mean ± SD MDI score, 96 ± 16 vs 97 ± 18 and mean ± SD PDI score, 94 ± 19 vs 92 ± 19, respectively).
In very low-birth-weight infants we found a higher incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage and retinopathy of prematurity but similar MDI and PDI scores and risk of cerebral palsy associated with chorioamnionitis.