Fetal and neonatal outcomes of preterm infants born before 32 weeks of gestation according to antenatal vs postnatal assessments of restricted growth.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Fetal growth restriction is defined using ultrasound parameters during pregnancy or as a low birthweight for gestational age after birth, but these definitions are not always concordant.

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate fetal and neonatal outcomes based on antenatal vs postnatal assessments of growth restriction.

STUDY DESIGN

From the EPIPAGE 2 population-based prospective study of very preterm births in France in 2011, we included 2919 singleton nonanomalous infants 24-31 weeks gestational age. We constituted 4 groups based on whether the infant was suspected with fetal growth restriction during pregnancy and/or was small for gestational age with a birthweight <10th percentile of intrauterine norms by sex: 1) suspected with fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age 2) not suspected with fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age 3) suspected with fetal growth restriction/not small for gestational age and 4) not suspected with fetal growth restriction/not small for gestational age. We estimated relative risks of perinatal mortality and morbidity for these groups adjusting for maternal and neonatal characteristics.

RESULTS

We found that 22.2% of infants were suspected with fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age, that 11.4% infants were not suspected with fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age, that 3.0% infants were suspected with fetal growth restriction/not small for gestational age, and that 63.4% infants were not suspected with fetal growth restriction/not small for gestational age. Compared with infants who were not suspected with fetal growth restriction/not small-for-gestational-age infants, small-for-gestational-age infants suspected and not suspected with fetal growth restriction had higher risks of stillbirth or termination of pregnancy (adjusted relative risk, 2.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.6-2.5] and adjusted relative risk, 2.8 [95% confidence interval, 2.2-3.4], respectively), in-hospital death (adjusted relative risk, 2.8 [95% confidence interval, 2.0-3.7] and adjusted relative risk, 2.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.8], respectively), and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (adjusted relative risk, 1.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.4] and adjusted relative risk, 1.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.4], respectively), but not severe brain lesions. Risks were not increased for infants suspected with fetal growth restriction but not small-for-gestational-age.

CONCLUSION

Antenatal and postnatal assessments of fetal growth restriction were not concordant for 14% of very preterm infants. In these cases, birthweight appears to be the more relevant parameter for the identification of infants with higher risks of adverse short-term outcomes.

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