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January 18, 2012

Neuroprotection for Premature Infants?Another Perspective on Caffeine

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Mildred Stahlman Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee.

JAMA. 2012;307(3):304-305. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.2026

Approximately 85% of infants born weighing less than 1500 g at birth (approximately 30 weeks' gestational age) survive to hospital discharge. However, these surviving preterm infants, especially those at the threshold of viability (23 to 25 weeks' gestational age) often have major developmental deficits or minor functional morbidities that interfere with daily living.1,2 One-third of children with birth weight less than 1000 g who had no neurosensory problems detected at hospital discharge had an IQ of less than 85, learning problems, or poor motor skills at 8 to 9 years of age, and two-thirds had behavioral problems; those with abnormalities identified in the newborn period had an even greater rate of adverse outcome.3