Objective The risk factors for cerebral palsy are well known. They include demographic social factors, maternal medical history, prior pregnancies, eventual complications of current pregnancy, labor and delivery and neonatal characteristics The aim of this study was to investigate some of the above-mentioned risk factors for CP in preterm (27–36 gestation weeks) and term infants (>37 gestation weeks).
Patients and methods A total of 62 children suffering from CP were born at the University Hospital Rijeka during the ten years period (1992–2001.). Diagnosis of CP was consistent with international recommendations. Of them, there were 50 preterm and 12 term infants. Risk factors: maternal age, characteristics of present pregnancy, type of delivery and the presence of the peripartal infection have been analyzed.
Results Mean maternal age was 28.8 years. However, preterm infants’ mothers were significantly older then term infants’ (29.6 and 25.0 years old, respectively). In 18 cases cesarean section has been performed. Perinatal infection has been diagnosed in 18 cases, significantly more often in preterm infants then term infants (17 cases vs 1 case) with CP.
Conclusion Obtained results show that perinatal infection was the most common risk factor for CP in the group of preterm infants. Management of antenatal and intrapartal infections in preterm infants still represents the most challenging issue in prevention of CP.