Fibbiani M, Tuoni C, Ciantelli M, Di Marco S, Ghirri P (2019) Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Newborns: The Role of Neonatal Sepsis. J Infect Dis Epidemiol


© 2019 Fibbiani M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

BRIEF REPORT | OPEN ACCESS DOI: 10.23937/2474-3658/1510088

Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Newborns: The Role of Neonatal Sepsis

Martina Fibbiani#, Cristina Tuoni#, Massimiliano Ciantelli, Serena Di Marco and Paolo Ghirri*

Division of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Santa Chiara University Hospital of Pisa, Italy

#First authors



Neonatal sepsis is an independent risk factor for the development of central nervous system injury, so preterm newborn, who is more exposed to infections, has a higher neurological risk. This research wanted to examine whether and how sepsis could influence preterm newborns' neurodevelopmental outcome.


We conducted an observational retrospective study with case-control design, recruiting preterm infants with gestational age ≤ 32 weeks or birth weight ≤ 1500 g. 42 patients joined the study, 21 with diagnosis of sepsis (cases: with sepsis) and 21 without infections (controls: no sepsis). We compared the two groups (no sepsis; with sepsis) means with regard to the auxological and neurodevelopmental outcomes.


Neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental outcome data analysis shows that the comparison between the means in the 2 groups (no sepsis; with sepsis) was statistically significant (p-value < 0.05).


The results prove the role of sepsis in determining a greater neurocognitive impairment in this category of newborns. Anyway, this is a preliminary research which needs to be supported by further studies with a larger cross-section to confirm the hypothesis.