Perinatal factors influencing survival at twenty-four weeks' gestation

Richard K. Silver*, Scott N. MacGregor, Elaine E. Farrell, Ann Ragin, Cheryl Davis, Michael L. Socol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to identify those obstetric and neonatal factors associated with survival in infants delivered at 24 weeks' gestation. STUDY DESIGN: The obstetric and pediatric data bases from the two hospitals in our perinatal center were examined to ascertain all infants delivered between 1987 and 1989 whose gestational age was 24 weeks to 24 weeks 6 days. This time interval was chosen to coincide with the introduction of prophylactic exogenous surfactant. Data were abstracted from the maternal antepartum and intrapartum records and the neonatal records, with specific attention to objective risk factors related to survival. RESULTS: Forty-five pregnant patients were identified and delivered of 52 infants. Seventeen newborn infants survived (33%). Univariate comparisons between survivors and nonsurvivors revealed more aggressive intrapartum care in the former cohort as represented by the frequencies of internal fetal heart rate monitoring (p = 0.005), maternal oxygen therapy (p = 0.003), and maternal position change to remediate decelerations (p = 0.001). Planned exclusion of cesarean delivery was more common in those pregnancies that ended in fetal or neonatal death ( 29 35 vs 1 17; p = 0.006). Although a greater proportion of infants delivered by cesarean section survived ( 6 11 vs 11 41), this difference was not significant (p = 0.17). With the use of logistic regression, the best predictor of survival was gestational age at delivery. Neonatal care was more aggressive among survivors, as measured by the relative frequencies of resuscitation and surfactant administration. Respiratory distress syndrome was either absent (n = 6) or mild (n = 6) in a majority of the survivors, and respiratory insufficiency was the major cause of neonatal death. CONCLUSION: Perinatal outcome at 24 weeks' gestation appears most dependent on gestational age at delivery. The intensity of intrapartum care and neonatal support, as well as clinical biases regarding survivability, may also influence outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1724-1731
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 1993


  • surfactant
  • survival
  • very low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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