Histological characteristics of the fetal inflammatory response associated with neurodevelopmental impairment and death in extremely preterm infants

Academic Article


  • Objective: To test the hypothesis that increasing severity of the fetal inflammatory response (FIR) would have a dose-dependent relationship with severe neurodevelopmental impairment or death in extremely preterm infants. Study design: We report 347 infants of 23-28 weeks gestational age admitted to a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit between 2006 and 2008. The primary outcome was death or neurodevelopmental impairment at the 18- to 22-month follow-up. Exposure status was defined by increasing stage of funisitis (stage 1, phlebitis; stage 2, arteritis with or without phlebitis; stage 3, subacute necrotizing funisitis) and severity of chorionic plate vasculitis (inflammation with or without thrombosis). Results: A FIR was detected in 110 placentas (32%). The rate of severe neurodevelopmental impairment/death was higher in infants with subacute necrotizing funisitis compared with infants without placental/umbilical cord inflammation (60% vs 35%; P <.05). Among infants with stage 1 or 2 funisitis, the presence of any chorionic vasculitis was associated with a higher rate of severe neurodevelopmental impairment/death (47% vs 23%; P <.05). After adjustment for confounding factors, only subacute necrotizing funisitis (risk ratio, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.04-3.35; P =.04) and chorionic plate vasculitis with thrombosis (risk ratio, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.10-4.46; P =.03) were associated with severe neurodevelopmental impairment/death. Conclusion: Severe FIR, characterized by subacute necrotizing funisitis and severe chorionic plate vasculitis with thrombosis, is associated with severe neurodevelopmental impairment/death in preterm infants. © 2013 Mosby Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Salas AA; Faye-Petersen OM; Sims B; Peralta-Carcelen M; Reilly SD; McGwin G; Carlo WA; Ambalavanan N
  • Volume

  • 163
  • Issue

  • 3