Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background:   The WHO definition of stillbirth uses 28 weeks’ gestation as the cut-point, but also defines extreme preterm birth as 24 to <28 weeks’ gestation. This presents a problem with the gestational limit of miscarriage, and hence reporting of stillbirth, preterm birth and neonatal death. The objective of this study is to provide a synopsis of the outcome of a population cohort of pregnancies on the Thailand-Myanmar border between 24 to <28 weeks’ gestation.  Methods:  Records from the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit Antenatal Clinics were reviewed for pregnancy outcomes in the gestational window of 24 to <28 weeks, and each record, including ultrasounds reports, were reviewed to clarify the pregnancy outcome. Pregnancies where there was evidence of fetal demise prior to 24 weeks were classified as miscarriage; those viable at 24 weeks’ gestation and born before 28 weeks were coded as births, and further subdivided into live- and stillbirth.  Results:   Between 1995 and 2015, in a cohort of 49,931 women, 0.6% (318) of outcomes occurred from 24 to <28 weeks’ gestation, and 35.8% (114) were miscarriages, with confirmatory ultrasound of fetal demise in 45.4% (49/108). Of pregnancies not ending in miscarriage, 37.7% (77/204) were stillborn and of those born alive, neonatal mortality was 98.3% (115/117). One infant survived past the first year of life. Congenital abnormality rate was 12.0% (23/191). Ultrasound was associated with a greater proportion of pregnancy outcome being coded as birth.  Conclusion:   In this limited-resource setting, pregnancy outcome from 24 to <28 weeks’ gestation included: 0.6% of all outcomes, of which one-third were miscarriages, one-third of births were stillborn and mortality of livebirths approached 100%. In the scale-up to preventable newborns deaths, at least initially, greater benefits will be obtained by focusing on the greater number of viable newborns with a gestation of 28 weeks or more.

Original publication

DOI

10.12688/wellcomeopenres.10352.1

Type

Journal article

Publication Date

23/12/2016