Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Research Publications

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    Morbidity and mortality in hospitalised neonates in central Vietnam
    Tran, HT ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Dang, NM ; Graham, SM (WILEY, 2015-05-01)
    AIM: This study explored neonatal morbidity and mortality in hospitalised patients in central Vietnam and risk factors associated with mortality. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of all newborn infants (<28 days) hospitalised in a neonatal unit over a 1-year period and followed until discharge. The main outcome measures were case fatality rate and the rate of different clinical diagnoses. RESULTS: There were 2555 admissions during the study period. The leading primary causes of admissions were infections (41%), haematological problems such as jaundice (23%) and prematurity and its complications (18%). The overall case fatality rate was 8.6%, and it was 59% among very low-birthweight (<1500 g) neonates. Mortality was inversely associated with birthweight and gestational age. Of the 220 deaths, 57% occurred within the first 7 days of life. Although the causes of death were often multifactorial, the leading primary causes were infections (32%), prematurity and its complications (25%), birth defects (24%) and birth asphyxia (6%). Risk factors associated with death were being outborn, early gestational age, small for gestational age, confirmed sepsis and birth defects. CONCLUSION: Mortality rates were high among hospitalised neonates in central Vietnam, and this paper suggests interventions that might improve outcomes.
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    A high burden of late-onset sepsis among newborns admitted to the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam
    Tran, HT ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Dang, NM ; Graham, SM (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-10-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence, causes and outcome of sepsis in hospitalized neonates in the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam. STUDY DESIGN: A 1-year prospective cohort study of newborns admitted to the neonatal unit in Da Nang. A sepsis work-up including blood culture was undertaken before commencing antibiotics for neonates with suspected sepsis. RESULT: Of 2555 neonatal admissions, 616 neonates had 729 episodes of suspected invasive sepsis. A pathogen was isolated from blood in 115 (16%) episodes in 106 neonates. The prevalence of early-onset sepsis (EOS) was 8 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4 to 11) per 1000 admissions, and of late-onset sepsis (LOS) was 34 (95% CI: 27 to 41) per 1000 admissions. Of 86 neonates with LOS, 69 (80%) also fulfilled the criteria for nosocomial sepsis. The commonest bacterial causes of EOS were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) and Staphylococcus aureus, and of LOS were Acinetobacter, CoNS and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Fungal sepsis occurred in 35 neonates of which most were nosocomial sepsis. In vitro resistance to multiple antibiotics was common among Gram-negative bacteria. Antibiotics were prescribed and given to 68% of all admissions, and 14% of all admissions received four or more different antibiotics. The case fatality rate for confirmed sepsis was 46%. CONCLUSION: Late-onset, nosocomial sepsis was common and associated with a high mortality in hospitalized newborns in the largest neonatal unit in central Vietnam. These findings highlighted the need for improved infection control measures and antibiotic stewardship, which have since been implemented.
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    Investigating the brain structural connectome following working memory training in children born extremely preterm or extremely low birth weight
    Kelly, CE ; Harding, R ; Lee, KJ ; Pascoe, L ; Josev, EK ; Spencer-Smith, MM ; Adamson, C ; Beare, R ; Nosarti, C ; Roberts, G ; Doyle, LW ; Seal, ML ; Thompson, DK ; Anderson, PJ (WILEY, 2021-02-23)
    Children born extremely preterm (EP, <28 weeks' gestation) or extremely low birth weight (ELBW, <1,000 g) are a vulnerable population at high risk of working memory impairments. We aimed to examine changes in the brain structural connectivity networks thought to underlie working memory performance, after completion of a working memory training program (Cogmed) compared with a placebo program in EP/ELBW children. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial (the Improving Memory in a Preterm Randomised Intervention Trial). Children born EP/ELBW received either the Cogmed or placebo program at 7 years of age (n = 91). A subset of children had magnetic resonance imaging of the brain immediately pre- and 2 weeks post-training (Cogmed n = 28; placebo n = 27). T1 -weighted and diffusion-weighted images were used to perform graph theoretical analysis of structural connectivity networks. Changes from pre-training to post-training in structural connectivity metrics were generally similar between randomized groups. There was little evidence that changes in structural connectivity metrics were related to changes in working memory performance from pre- to post-training. Overall, our results provide little evidence that the Cogmed working memory training program has training-specific effects on structural connectivity networks in EP/ELBW children.
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    Translating antenatal magnesium sulphate neuroprotection for infants born < 28 weeks' gestation into practice: A geographical cohort study
    Doyle, LW ; Spittle, AJ ; Olsen, JE ; Kwong, A ; Boland, RA ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Cheong, JLY (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    BACKGROUND: Magnesium sulphate was introduced for fetal neuroprotection in Australia in 2010. The aim of this study was to determine how often antenatal magnesium sulphate is used currently and its association with cerebral palsy in children born <28 weeks' gestation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants comprised all survivors born <28 weeks' gestational age in the state of Victoria in 2016-17, and earlier, in 1991-92, 1997, 2005. Rates of cerebral palsy, diagnosed at two years for the 2016-17 cohort, and at eight years in the earlier cohorts, were compared across eras. Within 2016-17, the proportions of children exposed to antenatal magnesium sulphate were determined, and rates of cerebral palsy were compared between those with and without exposure to magnesium sulphate. RESULTS: Overall, cerebral palsy was present in 6% (11/171) of survivors born in 2016-17, compared with 12% (62/499) of survivors born in the three earlier eras (odds ratio (OR) 0.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25-0.94; P = 0.032). Data were available for 213/215 (99%) survivors born in 2016-17, of whom 147 (69%) received magnesium sulphate. Data on cerebral palsy at two years were available for 171 (80%) survivors with magnesium data. Cerebral palsy was present in 5/125 (4%) children exposed to magnesium sulphate and in 6/46 (13%) of those not exposed (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08-0.96; P = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS: Antenatal magnesium sulphate is being translated into clinical practice for infants born <28 weeks' gestation, but there is room for improvement. It is associated with lower rates of cerebral palsy in survivors.
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    Psychiatric disorders in individuals born very preterm / very low-birth weight: An individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis
    Anderson, PJ ; de Miranda, DM ; Albuquerque, MR ; Indredavik, MS ; Evensen, KA ; Van Lieshout, R ; Saigal, S ; Taylor, HG ; Raikkonen, K ; Kajantie, E ; Marlow, N ; Johnson, S ; Woodward, LJ ; Austin, N ; Nosarti, C ; Jaekel, J ; Wolke, D ; Cheong, JL ; Burnett, A ; Treyvaud, K ; Lee, KJ ; Doyle, LW (ELSEVIER, 2021-11-27)
    BACKGROUND: Data on psychiatric disorders in survivors born very preterm (VP; <32 weeks) or very low birthweight (VLBW; <1500 g) are sparse. We compared rates of psychiatric diagnoses between VP/VLBW and term-born, normal birthweight (term/NBW) control participants. METHODS: This individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis pooled data from eligible groups in the Adults born Preterm International Collaboration (APIC). Inclusion criteria included: 1) VP/VLBW group (birth weight <1500 g and/or gestational age <32 weeks), 2) normal birth weight/term-born control group (birth weight >2499 g and/or gestational age ≥37 weeks), and 3) structured measure of psychiatric diagnoses using DSM or ICD criteria. Diagnoses of interest were Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Anxiety Disorder, Mood Disorder, Disruptive Behaviour Disorder (DBD), Eating Disorder, and Psychotic Disorder. A systematic search for eligible studies was conducted (PROSPERO Registration Number 47555). FINDINGS: Data were obtained from 10 studies (1385 VP/VLBW participants, 1780 controls), using a range of instruments and approaches to assigning diagnoses. Those born VP/VLBW had ten times higher odds of meeting criteria for ASD (odds ratio [OR] 10·6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2·50, 44·7), five times higher odds of meeting criteria for ADHD (OR 5·42, 95% CI 3·10, 9·46), twice the odds of meeting criteria for Anxiety Disorder (OR 1·91, 95% CI 1·36, 2·69), and 1·5 times the odds of meeting criteria for Mood Disorder (OR 1·51, 95% CI 1·08, 2·12) than controls. This pattern of findings was consistent within age (<18 years vs. ≥18 years) and sex subgroups. INTERPRETATION: Our data suggests that individuals born VP/VLBW might have higher odds of meeting criteria for certain psychiatric disorders through childhood and into adulthood than term/NBW controls. Further research is needed to corroborate our results and identify factors associated with psychiatric disorders in individuals born VP/VLBW. FUNDING: Australia's National Health & Medical Research Council; CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal deNível Superior) - International Cooperation General Program; Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant; National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); Academy of Finland; Sigrid Juselius Foundation; Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation; European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme: Project RECAP-Preterm; European Commission Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (DIAL); Neurologic Foundation of New Zealand; MRC programme grant; Health Research Council of New Zealand; National Institutes of Health, USA; The Research Council of Norway; Joint Research Committee between St. Olavs Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); Liaison Committee between Central Norway Regional Health Authority and NTNU.
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    The role of social risk in an early preventative care programme for infants born very preterm: a randomized controlled trial
    Spittle, AJ ; Treyvaud, K ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the differential effects of an early intervention programme for infants born preterm on neurodevelopment and parental mental health according to family social risk. METHOD: One hundred and twenty infants born earlier than 30 weeks' gestation were randomized to early intervention (n=61) or control groups (n=59). Cognitive, language, and motor outcomes were assessed by blinded assessors at 2 years, 4 years, and 8 years, and primary caregivers completed questionnaires on their anxiety and depression. Outcomes at each time point were compared between groups using linear regression with an interaction term for social risk (higher/lower). RESULTS: There was evidence of interactions between intervention group and social risk for cognition at 2 years and 4 years, motor function at 4 years, and language at 8 years, with a greater intervention effect in children from higher social risk environments. In contrast, the impact of early intervention on parental depressive symptoms was greater for parents of lower social risk than for those of higher social risk. INTERPRETATION: Effects of early intervention on outcomes for children born preterm and their caregivers varied according to family social risk. Family social risk should be considered when implementing early intervention programmes for children born preterm and their families. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Intervention is associated with better early cognitive functioning for children in higher social risk families. Positive effects of intervention for the high risk group were not sustained at school-age. Intervention has a greater effect on primary caregiver mental health in the lower social risk group compared with higher social risk.
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    Preterm and term-equivalent age general movements and 1-year neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants born before 30weeks' gestation
    Olsen, JE ; Allinson, LG ; Doyle, LW ; Brown, NC ; Lee, KJ ; Eeles, AL ; Cheong, JLY ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the associations between Prechtl's General Movements Assessment (GMA), conducted from birth to term-equivalent age, and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 12 months corrected age, in infants born very preterm. METHOD: One hundred and thirty-seven infants born before 30 weeks' gestation had serial GMA (categorized as 'normal' or 'abnormal') before term and at term-equivalent age. At 12 months corrected age, neurodevelopment was assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS); Neurological, Sensory, Motor, Developmental Assessment (NSMDA); and Touwen Infant Neurological Examination (TINE). The relationships between GMA at four time points and 12-month neurodevelopmental assessments were examined using regression models. RESULTS: Abnormal GMA at all time points were associated with worse continuous scores on the AIMS, NSMDA, and TINE (p<0.05). Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with increased odds of mild-severe dysfunction on the NSMDA (odds ratio [OR] 4.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.55-11.71, p<0.01; and OR 4.16, 95% CI 1.55-11.17, p<0.01 respectively) and abnormal GMA before term with increased odds of suboptimal-abnormal motor function on the TINE (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.10-6.85, p=0.03). INTERPRETATION: Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with worse neurodevelopment at 12 months corrected age in children born very preterm. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Abnormal general movements before term predict developmental deficits at 1 year in infants born very preterm. General Movements Assessment before term identifies at-risk infants born very preterm.
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    Predictive value of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition at 4years, for motor impairment at 8years in children born preterm
    Griffiths, A ; Morgan, P ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2017-05-01)
    AIM: To assess the predictive validity at 4 years of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition (MABC-2) for motor impairment at 8 years in children born preterm. We also aimed to determine if sex, cognition, medical, or social risks were associated with motor impairment at 8 years or with a change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. METHOD: Ninety-six children born at less than 30 weeks' gestation were assessed with the MABC-2 at 4 years and 8 years of age. Motor impairment was defined as less than or equal to the 5th centile. The Differential Ability Scales - Second Edition (DAS-II) was used to measure General Conceptual Ability (GCA) at 4 years, with a score <90 defined as 'below average'. RESULTS: There was a strong association between the MABC-2 total standard scores at 4 years and 8 years (59% variance explained, regression coefficient=0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.91, p<0.001). The MABC-2 at 4 years had high sensitivity (79%) and specificity (93%) for predicting motor impairment at 8 years. Below average cognition and higher medical risk were associated with increased odds of motor impairment at 8 years (odds ratio [OR]=15.3, 95% CI 4.19-55.8, p<0.001, and OR=3.77, 95% CI 1.28-11.1, p=0.016 respectively). Sex and social risk did not appear to be associated with motor impairment at 8 years. There was little evidence that any variables were related to change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. INTERPRETATION: The MABC-2 at 4 years is predictive of motor functioning in middle childhood. Below average cognition and higher medical risk may be predictors of motor impairment.
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    Neurobehaviour at term-equivalent age and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm
    Spittle, AJ ; Walsh, JM ; Potter, C ; Mcinnes, E ; Olsen, JE ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Cheong, JLY (WILEY, 2017-02-01)
    AIM: To examine the association between newborn neurobehavioural assessments and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm (MLPT). METHOD: Two-hundred and one infants born MLPT (born 32-36+6 wks' gestation) were assessed with the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination (HNNE) and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), with suboptimal performance defined as scores lower than the 10th centile. Development was assessed at 2 years corrected age with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd Edition, with delay defined as scores less than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean. The relationships between neurobehaviour at term and Bayley-III cognitive, language, and motor scales at 2 years were examined using linear regression. RESULTS: Increased odds for cognitive delay were associated with suboptimal HNNE total scores (odds ratio [OR] 2.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-6.23, p=0.020) and suboptimal NNNS excitability (OR 3.01; 95% CI 1.33-6.82, p=0.008) and lethargy (OR 4.05; 95% CI 1.75-9.31, p=0.001) scores. Suboptimal lethargy scores on the NNNS were associated with increased odds of language (OR 5.64; 95% CI 1.33-23.85, p=0.019) and motor delay (OR: 6.86; 95% CI 1.64-28.71, p=0.08). INTERPRETATION: Suboptimal performance on specific aspects of newborn neurobehavioural assessments is associated with neurodevelopmental delay at 2 years in children born MLPT.
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    Impact of moderate and late preterm birth on neurodevelopment, brain development and respiratory health at school age: protocol for a longitudinal cohort study (LaPrem study)
    Cheong, J ; Cameron, KLI ; Thompson, D ; Anderson, PJ ; Ranganathan, S ; Clark, R ; Mentiplay, B ; Burnett, A ; Lee, K ; Doyle, LW ; Spittle, AJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-01-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Children born moderate to late preterm (MLP, 32-36 weeks' gestation) account for approximately 85% of all preterm births globally. Compared with children born at term, children born MLP are at increased risk of poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. Despite making up the largest group of preterm children, developmental outcomes of children born MLP are less well studied than in other preterm groups. This study aimed to (1) compare neurodevelopmental, respiratory health and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes between children born MLP and term at 9 years of age; (2) examine the differences in brain growth trajectory from infancy to 9 years between children born MLP and term; and in children born MLP; (3) examine the relationship between brain development and neurodevelopment at 9 years; and (4) identify risk factors for poorer outcomes at 9 years. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The "LaPrem" (Late Preterm MRI Study) study is a longitudinal cohort study of children born MLP and term controls, born at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, between 2010 and 2013. Participants were recruited in the neonatal period and were previously followed up at 2 and 5 years. This 9-year school-age follow-up includes neuropsychology, motor and physical activities, and lung function assessments, as well as brain MRI. Outcomes at 9 years will be compared between birth groups using linear and logistic regressions. Trajectories of brain development will be compared between birth groups using mixed effects models. The relationships between MRI and neurodevelopmental outcomes, as well as other early predictors of poor 9-year outcomes, will be explored using linear and logistic regression. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by the human research ethics committee at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Study outcomes will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations and social media.