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Research Letter
December 3, 2018

Comparison of Cerebral Palsy Severity Between 2 Eras of Antenatal Magnesium Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus
  • 3Center for Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(2):188-190. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3827

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the leading cause of long-term childhood disability with lifetime societal and economic costs.1 Without a cure for CP, efforts have focused on prevention and on improving function. International guidelines for early detection and intervention for CP were recently published.2 Our institution implemented these recommendations in 2015, earlier than most clinical efforts worldwide. After publication of the Beneficial Effects of Antenatal Magnesium Sulfate (BEAM) clinical trial,3 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advised implementing institutional policies for magnesium sulfate administration before anticipated early preterm birth to reduce risk of CP.4 Although BEAM did not show a reduction in the primary outcome (composite of stillbirth, infant death, and moderate or severe CP), rates of moderate or severe CP were reduced among survivors.3 If effective, implementing this recommendation at an institutional level in 2009 should have resulted in fewer subsequent cases of moderate or severe CP at our institution.