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      Chorioamnionitis Is a Risk Factor for Intraventricular Hemorrhage in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


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          Although chorioamnionitis (CA) is a well-known risk factor for white matter disease of prematurity, the association with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is controversial and has not been yet systematically reviewed. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies exploring the association between CA and IVH. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE and EMBASE, from their inception to 1 July 2017. Studies were included if they examined preterm infants and reported primary data that could be used to measure the association between exposure to CA and the presence of IVH. A random-effects model was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We found 1,284 potentially relevant studies, of which 85 met the inclusion criteria (46,244 infants, 13,432 CA cases). Meta-analysis showed that CA exposure was significantly associated with all grades IVH (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.61–2.19), with grades 1–2 IVH (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.22–2.34), and with grades 3–4 IVH (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.42–1.85). Both clinical and histological CA were associated with an increased risk for developing IVH in very preterm infants. In contrast, the presence of funisitis did not increase IVH risk when compared to CA in the absence of funisitis (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.89–1.67). Further meta-analyses confirmed earlier findings that CA-exposed infants have significantly lower gestational age (GA; mean difference [MD] −1.20 weeks) and lower birth weight (BW; MD −55 g) than the infants not exposed to CA. However, meta-regression and subgroup analysis could not demonstrate an association between the lower GA and BW and the risk of IVH in the CA-exposed infants. In conclusion, our data show that CA is a risk factor for IVH, but also a risk factor for greater prematurity and more clinical instability. In contrast to other complications of prematurity, such as patent ductus arteriosus, retinopathy of prematurity, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the effect of CA on IVH appears to be independent of CA as causative factor for very preterm birth.

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          Intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants: mechanism of disease.

          Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a major complication of prematurity. IVH typically initiates in the germinal matrix, which is a richly vascularized collection of neuronal-glial precursor cells in the developing brain. The etiology of IVH is multifactorial and is primarily attributed to the intrinsic fragility of the germinal matrix vasculature and the disturbance in the cerebral blood flow (CBF). Although this review broadly describes the pathogenesis of IVH, the main focus is on the recent development in molecular mechanisms that elucidates the fragility of the germinal matrix vasculature. The microvasculature of the germinal matrix is frail because of an abundance of angiogenic blood vessels that exhibit paucity of pericytes, immaturity of basal lamina, and deficiency of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the ensheathing astrocytes endfeet. High VEGF and angiopoietin-2 levels activate a rapid angiogenesis in the germinal matrix. The elevation of these growth factors may be ascribed to a relative hypoxia of the germinal matrix perhaps resulting from high metabolic activity and oxygen consumption of the neural progenitor cells. Hence, the rapid stabilization of the angiogenic vessels and the restoration of normal CBF on the first day of life are potential strategies to prevent IVH in premature infants.
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            Evaluation and Management of Women and Newborns With a Maternal Diagnosis of Chorioamnionitis: Summary of a Workshop.

            In January 2015, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development invited an expert panel to a workshop to address numerous knowledge gaps and to provide evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and management of pregnant women with what had been commonly called chorioamnionitis and the neonates born to these women. The panel noted that the term chorioamnionitis has been used to label a heterogeneous array of conditions characterized by infection and inflammation or both with a consequent great variation in clinical practice for mothers and their newborns. Therefore, the panel proposed to replace the term chorioamnionitis with a more general, descriptive term: "intrauterine inflammation or infection or both," abbreviated as "Triple I." The panel proposed a classification for Triple I and recommended approaches to evaluation and management of pregnant women and their newborns with a diagnosis of Triple I. It is particularly important to recognize that an isolated maternal fever is not synonymous with chorioamnionitis. A research agenda was proposed to further refine the definition and management of this complex group of conditions. This article provides a summary of the workshop presentations and discussions.
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              On the pitfalls of adjusting for gestational age at birth.

              Preterm delivery is a powerful predictor of newborn morbidity and mortality. Such problems are due to not only immaturity but also the pathologic factors (such as infection) that cause early delivery. The understanding of these underlying pathologic factors is incomplete at best. To the extent that unmeasured pathologies triggering preterm delivery also directly harm the fetus, they will confound the association of early delivery with neonatal outcomes. This, in turn, complicates studies of newborn outcomes more generally. When investigators analyze the association of risk factors with neonatal outcomes, adjustment for gestational age as a mediating variable will lead to bias. In the language of directed acyclic graphs, gestational age is a collider. The theoretical basis for colliders has been well described, and gestational age has recently been acknowledged as a possible collider. However, the impact of this problem, as well as its implications for perinatal research, has not been fully appreciated. The authors discuss the evidence for confounding and present simulations to explore how much bias is produced by adjustments for gestational age when estimating direct effects. Under plausible conditions, frank reversal of exposure-outcome associations can occur. When the purpose is causal inference, there are few settings in which adjustment for gestational age can be justified.

                Author and article information

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physiol.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                11 September 2018
                : 9
                : 1253
                [1] 1Department of Pediatrics, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht University Medical Center , Maastricht, Netherlands
                [2] 2Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Carina Mallard, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

                Reviewed by: Adam John Watkins, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; Dean A. Myers, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, United States

                *Correspondence: Eduardo Villamor e.villamor@ 123456mumc.nl

                This article was submitted to Embryonic and Developmental Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology

                Copyright © 2018 Villamor-Martinez, Fumagalli, Mohammed Rahim, Passera, Cavallaro, Degraeuwe, Mosca and Villamor.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 30 May 2018
                : 20 August 2018
                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 132, Pages: 17, Words: 11360
                Systematic Review

                Anatomy & Physiology
                chorioamnionitis,intraventricular hemorrhage,very preterm infant,systematic review,meta-analysis


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