INTRODUCTION: Gestational hypertension is a major cause of maternal death in our country and may be associated with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with serious neurological complications. OBJECTIVE: To correlate gestational hypertension with risk factors of neuropsychomotor development in infants. METHOD: This was a prospective study. We evaluated 30 consecutive infants born of mothers with gestational hypertension. The following risk factors were considered: small for gestational age; fetal asphyxia; age of onset of gestational hypertension; term/preterm newborn; Apgar scores; central cyanosis; O2 mask; meconium. The study followed two steps. In the first step, newborns underwent neurological examination soon after birth (48-72 hours of life). In the second step, children underwent another neurological assessment between 7 and 15 months of life. RESULTS: Six newborns presented neurological signs on the first evaluation. The only risk factor that showed a significant correlation with the neurologic examination was the Apgar score. Other risk factors did not show any correlation. All children evaluated on the second step of the study showed normal neurological development and examination, which did not allow any correlation with risk factors. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that gestational hypertension per se is not sufficient to cause fetal neurological impairment.
gestational hypertension; neuropsychomotor development; Apgar score; fetal asphyxia; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy