Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • maternal last menstrual period (LMP)
  • distance from the maternal superior pubis to the uterine fundus
  • infant physical maturity score
  • infant neuromuscular maturity score
  • combined physical/neuromuscular score <10: gestational age <28 weeks
  • combined physical/neuromuscular score 11 to 19: gestational age 29 to 31 weeks
  • combined physical/neuromuscular score 20 to 24: gestational age 32 to 33 weeks
  • combined physical/neuromuscular score 25 to 33: gestational age 34 to 36 weeks

Other diagnostic factors

  • infant birth weight (appropriate for gestational age infants, AGA)

Risk factors

  • spontaneous preterm labour
  • intra-uterine infection
  • preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM)
  • pre-eclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • abruption/antepartum haemorrhage
  • abnormal amniotic fluid volume
  • severe bacterial vaginosis
  • multiple gestation
  • previous preterm birth
  • fetal abnormality
  • cervical incompetence/uterine abnormality
  • gestational diabetes
  • maternal surgery during pregnancy
  • chronic maternal illness
  • short inter-pregnancy time interval
  • drug use (tobacco, cocaine, heroin)
  • maternal pregnancy BMI <19 or >35
  • stress/depression
  • non-white race

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • fetal biometry during antenatal period
Full details

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Associate Professor

Section of Neonatology and Department of Pediatrics

Baylor College of Medicine

Houston

TX

Disclosures

MP declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr Mohan Pammi would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Stephen Welty and Dr James L. Wynn, previous contributors to this monograph. SW and JLW declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Associate Professor

Yale University School of Medicine

Division of Perinatal Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Children's Hospital

New Haven

CT

Disclosures

VB declares that he has no competing interests.

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Gloucester

UK

Disclosures

IB declares that he has no competing interests.

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