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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Milner, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, Marc J.N.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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In This Section
Volume 40, Issue 2 (Feb 2012)


Immediate clinical outcomes in preterm neonates receiving antenatal magnesium for neuroprotection

Sudeepta Kumar Basu
  • Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, USA
/ Vijay Chickajajur
  • Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, USA
/ Vivian Lopez
  • Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, USA
/ Alok Bhutada
  • Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, USA
/ Murali Pagala
  • Office of Health Science and Research, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
/ Shantanu Rastogi
  • Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • Email:
Published Online: 2011-08-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.094


Background: Antenatal magnesium sulfate can potentially reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in neonates delivered between 24 and 32 weeks of gestational age. Some studies using high-dose magnesium sulfate for neuroprotection have reported increased perinatal mortality.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 475 neonates born between 24 and 32 weeks of gestational age. Serum magnesium level in the first 24 h of life was used to stratify the neonates treated with antenatal magnesium into four subgroups: A (<2.5 mEq/L), B (≥2.5 to <3.5 mEq/L), C (≥3.5 to <4.5 mEq/L), and D (≥4.5 mEq/L). Primary outcome of survival without intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and/or periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) along with secondary outcomes, such as Apgar scores, resuscitation, intubation, broncho-pulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), time to reach full feeds, length of stay (LOS), and mortality during immediate neonatal period were studied.

Results: Of the 475 neonates included in the study, 289 (61%) received antenatal magnesium sulfate. Primary outcome of survival without IVH and/or PVL among the preterm neonates was 70.9% in those receiving and 74.2% in those not receiving antenatal magnesium (P=0.25). There were higher incidences of ROP (P=0.02), PDA (P=0.01), greater time to reach full feeds (P=0.03), and increased LOS (P=0.01) in neonates who had received antenatal magnesium. These findings were not statistically significant when the data were corrected for gestational age and birth weight. Among the subgroups, there was a significantly increased mortality rate (P<0.05) with increasing magnesium levels (5% vs. 16.9%, P<0.05 in groups A vs. D) and a trend toward higher intubation rate (P=0.1) and PDA (P=0.14).

Conclusion: Antenatal magnesium is safe in the immediate postnatal period; however, in the subset of preterm neonates with serum magnesium levels >4.5 mEq/L, there is increased mortality independent of birth weight and gestational age. Identification of these neonates and appropriate dosing for their antenatal neuroprotection needs to be studied.

Keywords: Magnesium; mortality; neuroprotection; outcomes; preterm neonates

About the article

Corresponding author: Shantanu Rastogi, MD, MMM Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics SUNY-HSC at Brooklyn Attending Neonatologist Maimonides Infants and Children Hospital 1048 Tenth Avenue G-103 Brooklyn NY 11203 USA Tel.: +1-718-283-8853

Received: 2011-06-28

Accepted: 2011-06-30

Published Online: 2011-08-11

Published in Print: 2012-02-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.094.

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