Prematurity is the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide. In developed countries, extremely preterm infants contribute disproportionately to both neonatal and infant mortality. Survival of this high-risk population has incrementally improved in recent years. Despite these improvements, approximately one in four extremely preterm infants dies during the birth hospitalization. Among those who survive, respiratory and other morbidities are common, although their effect on quality of life is variable. In addition, long-term neurodevelopmental impairment is a large concern for patients, clinicians, and families. However, the interplay of multiple factors contributes to neurodevelopmental impairment, with measures that change over time and outcomes that can be difficult to define and predict. Understanding outcomes of extremely preterm infants can help better counsel families regarding antenatal and postnatal care and guide strategies to improve survival without morbidity. This review summarizes recent evidence to provide an overview into the short- and long-term outcomes for extremely preterm infants.
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