Preeclampsia: Early and late neonatal outcomes
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Newborn infants exposed to preeclampsia (PE) present increased short-term morbidity, mainly respiratory diseases such as respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Gastrointestinal problems are also frequent, although a higher risk of necrotizing enterocolitis has not been confirmed. These problems could be related not just to PE itself but also to prematurity or intrauterine growth restriction, which frequently occur in this maternal disease. Other findings, however, seem to be due to the direct effect of the maternal disease; these findings include an increased frequency of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia and a lower incidence of cerebral disorders, such as periventricularintraventricular hemorrhage and cerebral palsy. The evaluation of long-term outcome shows increasing evidence that PE has important implications for the future health of the mother and her child, suggesting that PE is not a simple gestational disorder but a clinical syndrome with an unclear etiology, a genetic component, and a complex pathophysiology. This syndrome involves important maternal and fetal vascular alterations that can persist and cause diseases in later life. The divergence in results on outcomes for children exposed to PE could, in part, be due to methodological differences in the studies, most of which are retrospective case-control studies. Better evidence on prognosis is obtained from cohort studies. Even in the cohort studies, differences in patient characteristics and severity of maternal disease, as well as sample size, follow-up time, and main outcome measures certainly contribute to the variability in results reported in the literature. © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.