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In the grey zone—survival and morbidities of periviable births



To compare the survival and morbidities of infants born between 22 0/7–25 6/7 weeks of gestation.

Study design

This observational cohort study consisted of 187 eligible infants liveborn at a single, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between June 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. Infants with recognized syndromes or major congenital malformations were excluded from the review.


The rate of survival to discharge for NICU-admitted infants born at 22- and 23- week was 56% and 54% respectively at our institution. There was no trend observed between gestational ages and incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), patent ductus arteriousus (PDA), sepsis, or severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH- Grade 3 or 4). The infants born at 22 weeks had a higher incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) as compared to 25 weeks gestation (p < 0.001). The need for home oxygen was significantly higher in the smallest infants 70% at 22 weeks, 62% and 60% at 23 and 24 weeks versus 33% at 25 weeks gestation (p < 0.007). Those born at 22 weeks had the same rate of survival to discharge with severe IVH as those born at 23 weeks but required fewer VP shunts (p > 0.52).


The course of extremely preterm infants shows no difference between those born at 22 and 23 weeks of gestation in our NICU with regards to both mortality and short-term morbidities, although they differed marginally from 24 week gestation infants and significantly from those born at 25 weeks gestation.

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All authors have a substantial contribution to the conception of the work; the acquisition, analysis, interpretation of data for the work, drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content, final approval of the version to be published, agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Ankita Shukla.

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Shukla, A., Beshers, C., Worley, S. et al. In the grey zone—survival and morbidities of periviable births. J Perinatol 42, 1001–1007 (2022).

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