Survivors of extreme prematurity--outcome at 8 years of age

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1991 Nov;31(4):337-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828x.1991.tb02815.x.


Of 149 infants liveborn in a large maternity hospital in 1980 to 1982 and delivered between 24 and 29 completed weeks of gestation inclusive, 91 (61%) survived; 88 (97%) survivors were assessed at 8 years' corrected age; 77% of children were not disabled; disability was mild in 13%, moderate in 2% and severe in 4% of children. Although survival decreased with decreasing gestation, disability in survivors did not increase. An earlier assessment of the same children at approximately 2 years of age had been unduly pessimistic particularly for those born less than or equal to 26 weeks' gestation. The only other reports in the literature on outcome by gestation have all assessed the children in early childhood, and estimates of severe disability rates from these studies will probably also be too pessimistic. Since the rate of severe disabilities in infants of borderline viability is not much higher than in more mature infants the obstetrician should mainly consider survival chances for the fetus, and not be overly concerned with long-term neurological outcome, when making clinical decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Child
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / mortality