In very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, colloid infusion is associated with impaired perinatal lung function and increased oxygen dependency duration. The aim of this study was to determine whether perinatal colloid infusion was associated with abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome. All perinatal fluid input (crystalloid and colloid) given to VLBW infants entered into a randomised trial was recorded. At 1 and/or 2 years, the neurodevelopmental status of VLBW infants was routinely assessed. Of 131 survivors, median gestational age 27 weeks (range 23-33 weeks), 95 were seen at follow-up. Nineteen had abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome and differed significantly from the rest of the cohort with regard to their birth weight, magnitude of colloid infusion received and the proportions who had received postnatal steroids, suffered prolonged oxygen dependency or having had intracerebral haemorrhage/periventricular leucomalacia development. Regression analysis demonstrated that only colloid infusion related significantly to abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome independent of other variables.
Conclusion: These data suggest that colloid infusion should be used with caution in the perinatal period.