Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 months' corrected age of infants born at 22 weeks of gestation

Neonatology. 2011;100(3):228-32. doi: 10.1159/000324715. Epub 2011 Jun 22.


Background: Increased survival rates for extremely low birth weight infants have been reported. However, survival rates and prognoses of extremely preterm infants, such as infants born at 22 weeks of gestation, are still poor.

Objective: To investigate such infants' long-term outcomes, developmental assessments were performed.

Methods: Seven infants with gestational age of 22 weeks were delivered in our hospital from 2005 to 2008. One infant was a stillbirth despite resuscitation in the delivery room. Six infants, 4 boys and 2 girls, with a gestational age of 22 weeks (range 22(3/7)-22(6/7) weeks), were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Birth weights ranged from 514 to 710 g. None of the infants suffered from sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, or severe intraventricular hemorrhage.

Results: The survival rate was 85.7% (6/7) as a percentage of deliveries and 100% (6/6) as a percentage of NICU admissions. None of the infants suffered from deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy. Six infants were available for developmental assessments at 18 months' corrected age. Three infants showed normal developmental quotients, and 3 infants showed developmental delay.

Conclusion: In our study, all infants admitted to the NICU at a gestational age of 22 weeks were discharged from the hospital alive. This might suggest that infants after 22 weeks' gestation be considered eligible for active treatment in Japan, though considering the size of the material, generalizibility of the results cannot be considered guaranteed.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Premature Birth / mortality
  • Premature Birth / pathology*
  • Premature Birth / physiopathology
  • Survival Rate