Impact of chorioamnionitis and preeclampsia on neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm infants below 32 weeks gestational age

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Oct;99(10):1504-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01861.x.


Aim: Intrauterine conditions may interfere with foetal brain development. We compared the neurodevelopmental outcome between infants <32 weeks gestational age after maternal preeclampsia or chorioamnionitis and controls.

Methods: Case-control study on infants with maternal preeclampsia, chorioamnionitis and controls (each n = 33) matched for gestational age. Neurodevelopment at 2 years was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II.

Results: A total of 99 infants were included with a median gestational age of 29 weeks (range 25-32). Median mental developmental index (MDI) was 96 in the control, 90 in the chorioamnionitis and 86 in the preeclampsia group. Preeclampsia infants had a lower MDI compared with the control group (univariate p = 0.021, multivariate p = 0.183) and with the chorioamnionitis group (univariate p = 0.242; multivariate p = 0.027). Median psychomotor index was 80.5 in the control, 80 in the preeclampsia and 85 in the chorioamnionitis group and was not different between these three groups (p > 0.05). Chorioamnionitis or preeclampsia exposure was not associated with major neurodevelopmental impairments (cerebral palsy, MDI<70, PDI<70).

Conclusion: The results of this preliminary study suggest that preeclampsia and chorioamnionitis play a relatively minor role among risk factors for adverse neurodevelopment outcome. Postnatal factors such as ventilation and bronchopulmonary dysplasia may have a greater impact on neurodevelopmental outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology
  • Chorioamnionitis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nervous System / growth & development
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Psychomotor Performance