Bassler et al reported comorbid conditions associated with a poor outcome for an extremely low birth weight infant. These findings can be helpful when informing parents about the outcome for a child. The authors are from McMaster University, Emory University, University of Toronto, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (Edmonton) and the University of Calgary.

Patient selection: extremely low birth weight infant (500 to 999 grams) who survives to 36 weeks postmenstrual age


Criteria for poor outcome at 18 months:

(1) death

(2) cerebral palsy

(3) cognitive delay

(4) severe hearing loss

(5) bilateral blindness


Key neonatal comorbid conditions associated with poor outcome:

(1) bronchopulmonary dysplasia (need for supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks postmenstrual age)

(2) brain injury

(3) severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP, stage 4 or 5)


Meningitis was associated with a poor outcome but was uncommon (odds ratio 4.0).


Other infections (including sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis) increased the risk of a poor outcome slightly (odds ratio 1.3 for sepsis; 1.6 for NEC).

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.