Bacterial infections, typically associated with long labor and bacteria that moves from the vagina to the uterus, can cause chorioamnionitis or an inflammation of the fetal membranes. Researchers from The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recently reviewed the impact of the condition on neurodevelopment at three, eight and 18 years of age.
Nearly 1,000 children were included in the study. All children were born at less than 37 weeks gestation weighing no more than 2,500 grams. Forty-three cases of chorioamnionitis were described in medical files. The remaining children were used as controls.
Conclusion: Children who suffered from chorioamnionitis did not exhibit neurodevelopmental differences when compared to the control group. At eight years, children in the chorioamnionitis group scored higher than the control group on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, but no differences were noted by 18 years of age.
Source: Burns SA, Lyle RE, Casey PH, Burns KH, Barrett KW, Whiteside-Mansell L. The impact of chorioamnionitis on neurodevelopmental outcomes at 3, 8 and 18 years in low-birth weight preterm infants. J Perinatol. 2013 Jan 10. doi: 10.1038/jp.2012.160.