Preterm Fetal Growth Restriction and Developmental Care

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) logo

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Status and phase

Unknown
Phase 2

Conditions

Preterm Birth

Treatments

Behavioral: NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care)

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

NIH

Identifiers

NCT00166660
R01HD046855

Details and patient eligibility

About

The goal of the project is to show the effectiveness of individualized developmental care and intervention, which begins with the FGR preterm infant's admission to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and extends to 2 weeks (w) after full term equivalent age or 2w CA (corrected age for prematurity).

Full description

The protocol aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of an intervention geared to significantly improve functional competence for preterm infants with fetal growth restriction (FGR). Incidence of FGR is estimated to be as high as 5% of the general obstetric population. Preterms with FGR are doubly jeopardized. Aside from much higher mortality rates they also show significantly increased morbidity rates, including significant learning disabilities and school failure (>50%). The intervention's underlying premise holds that it is far more effective to support the immature brain, which is compromised by FGR, to develop optimally before the infant reaches full term rather than to attempt to ameliorate increasingly deviant development after deviance has occurred. The goal of the project is to show the effectiveness of individualized developmental care and intervention, which begins with the FGR preterm infant's admission to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and extends to 2 weeks (w) after full term equivalent age or 2w CA (corrected age for prematurity). Intervention in the NICU is considered more advantageous for the infant's later development than delay of intervention until after discharge home. The proposal maintains that the last trimester of gestation is a critical period for brain development, especially when compromised by FGR. In-NICU intervention at this critical brain development time is expected to reduce the infants' hypersensitivity and reactivity while in the NICU, and to lead to reduction of the high incidence of behavioral problems in infancy, which frequently foreshadows later behavioral and learning problems as well as school failure. The study aims to test three related hypotheses: Individualized developmental NICU care and intervention will enhance FGR preterm infants' brain development both functionally and structurally. The in-NICU intervention will improve the parents' understanding of their infant's individuality and equip them to feel more competent as parents. The intervention itself, while individualized for each infant, will be quantifiable and reliably reproducible. The study will: Test the effectiveness of the intervention by assessing brain development and functional adaptation of a high risk preterm population (n=30) with documented intrauterine FGR and born between 28 and 33w gestational age. Assess the FGR preterm infants' neurodevelopment within one week from birth (baseline) and again at 2w CA (outcome). Compare the results on the effectiveness of the intervention for the FGR preterm infants to a recently studied cohort of appropriately grown (AGA) preterm infants born at comparable gestational ages, supported with the same intervention and measured in comparable ways. The primary infant measures proposed will be brain functional (EEG coherence, neurobehavioral functioning) and brain structural assessments (MRI). The goal will be to examine the direct causal connections and correlations among population characteristics, the intervention, and ultimate outcome at 2w CA. The project is expected to deliver comprehensive and substantive results in favor of the developmental NICU intervention for FGR preterm infants as well as for the earlier studied AGA population. The proposed study is expected to demonstrate intervention effectiveness in improving FGR preterm infants' neurodevelopment. It is anticipated that the intervention-based improvement in brain structure and function will set the stage for improvement in later performance, especially in terms of behavioral/emotional adaptation, learning and school achievement, which are all critical for life success.

Enrollment

30 estimated patients

Sex

All

Ages

28 to 33 weeks old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Inborn at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • Gestational age ≥28 and ≤33 weeks
  • Doppler diagnosed absent or reversed end-diastolic umbilical artery flow velocity
  • Less than 5th percentile in birthweight and head circumference for gestational age

Exclusion criteria

  • Major chromosomal or congenital anomalies
  • Major congenital infections
  • Significant prenatal diagnosed focal brain lesions
  • Uncontrolled maternal illness
  • History of smoking, alcoholism, and use of illicit drugs
  • History of significant maternal deprivation, abuse, or malnutrition
  • No telephone access and/or insufficient English language facility

Trial design

Primary purpose

Prevention

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Double Blind

Trial contacts and locations

2

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Central trial contact

Heidelise Als, PhD

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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