Umbilical artery pH at birth and neurobehavioral outcome in early preterm infants: A cohort study

Bhavna Seth, Vikram Datta, Bhanu Kiran Bhakhri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the following study is to determine the effect of umbilical artery pH at birth on early neurobehavioral outcome of preterm infants as assessed by Neurobehavioral Assessment of Preterm Infants (NAPI) tool. Materials and Methods: Prospective cohort study conducted at the neonatal unit in a tertiary care center in North India. Preterm neonates < 34 weeks of gestation were enrolled at birth and divided into cases (umbilical artery pH < 7.2) and controls (umbilical artery pH > 7.2). At 34 weeks postconceptional age, the motor development and vigor (MDV) and alertness and orientation (AO) domains of neurobehavior were assessed by NAPI and compared among groups. Results: Hundred preterm neonates were enrolled in the study out of which 76 (30 cases and 46 controls) were finally analyzed. The groups were comparable in terms of gestational age, mode of delivery, birth weight and requirement of resuscitative measures at birth. There was no significant difference in incidence of meningitis, intraventricular hemorrhage, jaundice and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy among the groups; however hypoglycemia was observed more commonly among cases. The MDV score (mean ± standard deviation [SD] [95% confidence interval]) was found to be significantly lower among cases compared to controls (37.0713 ± 13.616 [32.099-42.0431] vs. 47.506 ± 14.0692 [43.367-51.655]) (P = 0.002). Similarly, lower AO scores were observed among the cases. Conclusion: A low umbilical artery pH at birth is a predictor of poor early neurobehavioral outcome in preterm neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Neurosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Asphyxia
  • developmental delay
  • encephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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