Umbilical cord milking improves postnatal adaptation and short-term outcomes of very preterm infants compared to early cord clamping. Little is known about the impact of umbilical cord milking on long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. The objective of this study is to compare the effects of intact umbilical cord milking (UCM) vs. early cord clamping (ECC) at birth on neurodevelopmental outcomes at 36 months' corrected age. Preterm infants < 31 weeks' gestation who were randomized at birth to receive three time milking of their attached cord or ECC (< 10 s) were evaluated at 36 months' corrected age. Neurodevelopmental outcomes were assessed by blinded examiners using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (version III). Analysis was by intention to treat. Out of the 73 infants included in the original trial, 2 died and 65 (92%) infants were evaluated at 36 months' corrected age. Patient characteristics and short-term outcomes were similar in both study groups. There were no significant differences in the median cognitive, motor or language scores or in the rates of cerebral palsy, developmental impairment, deafness, or blindness between study groups.
Conclusion: Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 36 months' corrected age of very preterm infants who received UCM were not shown to be significantly different from those who received ECC at birth.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01487187 What is Known: • Compared to early cord clamping, umbilical cord milking improves postnatal adaptation and short-term outcomes of very preterm infants compared to early cord clamping. • Little is known about the impact of umbilical cord milking on neurodevelopmental outcomes.
What is new: • Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 3 years of age were not significantly different in very preterm infants who received cord milking vs. those who received early cord clamping at birth.
Keywords: Early cord clamping; Long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes; Preterm infants; Umbilical cord milking.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.