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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


SILVEIRA, Rita C.; PROCIANOY, Renato S.; DILL, Juliana C.  and  COSTA, Cristine S. da. Periventricular leukomalacia in very low birth weight preterm neonates with high risk for neonatal sepsis. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.3, pp.211-216. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and neonatal sepsis in very low birth weight infants (VLBWI). METHODS: We studied VLBWI with a clinical suspicion of infection who had been born at our institution between the 1st of August, 2005 and the 31st of July, 2007. Children were excluded if they died before reaching 14 days, had malformations of the central nervous system or congenital infections. Ultrasound brain scans were carried out on the third day and weekly up until the sixth week of life or discharge. Periventricular leukomalacia was diagnosed by persistent diffuse periventricular hyperechogenecity for more than 7 days, or by periventricular cysts. The VLBWI were separated into two groups on the basis of the presence or absence of PVL. Sepsis was defined as clinical manifestation plus a positive culture. The Mann-Whitney, chi-square and t tests were applied followed by logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 88 VLBWI were studied. Of these, 62 (70.5%) survived and 51 (57.8%) had PVL. Both groups were similar in terms of birth weight, gestational age, Apgar score, type of delivery, SNAPPE-II score, presence of necrotizing enterocolitis, persistent ductus arteriosus and deaths. Sepsis and mechanical ventilation were more common in the group with PVL (23.5 and 2.7%, p = 0.005; 86 and 59%, p = 0.004, respectively). Both of these were identified as, independent risk factors for PVL by logistic regression (p = 0.027 and 0.015, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Chorioamnionitis has been defined as a risk factor for PVL. We have demonstrated that neonatal sepsis is also an important risk factor. We believe that the systemic inflammatory response is the principal factor involved in the etiopathogenesis of PVL among VLBWI.

Keywords : Prematurity; neonatal sepsis; periventricular leukomalacia; very low weight.

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