Impact of metabolic acidemia at birth on neonatal outcomes in infants born before 34 weeks’ gestation

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7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine prematurity-associated neonatal outcomes in early preterm infants with metabolic acidemia compared to those without such acidemia. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis to assess the impact of metabolic acidemia on prematurity-associated complications in a large cohort of singleton live-born infants with complete umbilical cord gas analyses delivered between 24 0/7 and 33 6/7 weeks. Metabolic acidemia was defined as an umbilical artery pH less than 7.0 plus a base deficit of 12 mmol/L or greater. Outcomes were adjusted for gestational age using logistic regression. Results: Between 1 January 1988 and 31 December 2014, 6970 singleton early preterm infants were delivered at our hospital, of which 126 (1.8%) had metabolic acidemia. Neonatal mortality as well as prematurity-associated morbidities were significantly increased in the presence of metabolic acidemia. Included were ventilator requirement (73% versus 36%, p < 0.001), grade 3/4 intraventricular hemorrhage (10% versus 4%, p < 0.001), periventricular leukomalacia (5% versus 2%, p = 0.036), and neonatal death (13% versus 4%, p < 0.001). These significant findings persisted after adjustment for gestational age. Conclusion: Metabolic acidemia significantly increases the risks related to prematurity in infants delivered prior to 34 weeks’ gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1902-1905
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 18 2017


  • Metabolic acidemia
  • early preterm birth
  • prematurity-associated morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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