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Length of life and treatment intensity in infants diagnosed prenatally or postnatally with congenital anomalies considered to be lethal.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21164425     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Objectives:The objectives of this study were (1) to compare age at death and the intensity and cost of medical treatment for infants diagnosed prenatally or postnatally with congenital anomalies considered to be lethal. (2) To determine whether greater treatment intensity is associated with longer life.Study Design:This is a retrospective cohort study of all fetuses and neonates with congenital anomalies classified as lethal who were diagnosed or treated at the University of North Carolina Hospitals from January 1998 to December 2003.Result:The cohort consisted of 192 fetuses and infants: 160 were diagnosed prenatally, 2 were diagnosed perinatally, and 30 were diagnosed postnatally. In all, 115 (72%) pregnancies were terminated. Of the liveborn infants, 75% died before 10 days of age and 90% before 4 months of age. Compared with postnatally diagnosed infants, prenatally diagnosed infants received less intense treatment (median average daily Neonatal Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System score 8.3 versus 14.0; P=0.02), at less cost (median direct cost of hospitalization $1550 versus $8474; P=0.03) and died sooner (median age at death <1 day versus 4 days; P=0.01). Greater treatment intensity did not correlate with longer survival (r=-0.04; P=0.66).Conclusion:Although some kinds of medical therapy may be appropriate for newborns with lethal congenital anomalies, highly aggressive interventions did not prolong survival and should not be offered. Even when pregnancy termination is not elected, infants diagnosed prenatally receive less intense care.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 16 December 2010; doi:10.1038/jp.2010.124.
A M Courtwright; M M Laughon; M W Doron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2010-12-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1476-5543     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8501884     Medline TA:  J Perinatol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
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