Weekly Updates #27 or whatever… I’ll have to think of a new title for these posts…

Troger B, Muller T, Faust K, Bendiks M, Bohlmann MK, Thonnissen S, Herting E, Gopel W, Hartel C: Intrauterine Growth Restriction and the Innate Immune System in Preterm Infants of </=32 Weeks Gestation. Neonatology 2012, 103(3):199-204. Infants born with IUGR often have low white blood cell counts, and neutrophil counts, in addition, this study seems to show that there are functional immune deficits also, interleukin levels were lower in the IUGR babies when their blood cell cultures were stimulated, than preterm infants who had normal growth.

An issue of Early Human Development with a section about ‘Psychosocial development of adolescent preterm children’, which includes a review by Saroj Saigal on Quality of life of former premature infants during adolescence and beyond. Early Hum Dev 2013, 89(4):209-213. As you would expect it is excellent. Also if you are at all unsure of the concept of Executive Function, there is a very high quality review from Peter Anderson’s group in Melbourne (Burnett AC, Scratch SE, Anderson PJ: Executive function outcome in preterm adolescents. Early Hum Dev 2013, 89(4):215-220.) This is the group that has done more than any other to study this issue in former preterm infants, and they explain the concepts as well as reviewing the data.

Harvey ME, Nongena P, Gonzalez-Cinca N, Edwards AD, et al: Parents’ experiences of information and communication in the neonatal unit about brain imaging and neurological prognosis: a qualitative study. Acta Paediatrica 2013, 102(4):360-365. Preterm babies (and others in the NICU) often get head ultrasounds, and brain MRI as  a routine. You may remember that Annie and I wrote a commentary recently which bemoaned the fact that no-one had bothered to ask parents is they thought this was a good idea. Well it looks like the group of David Edwards in London is doing that. This nice qualitative study explored the experiences of parents around receiving information about brain imaging. Parents found themselves to be passive recipients of information. I don’t see in this article any questioning of the usefulness of brain imaging for parents, but that may be coming.

About keithbarrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
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