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Keywords:

  • Infant;
  • Infection;
  • Neurodevelopment;
  • Umbilical cord clamping

Abstract

Aim

To investigate the effect that delayed and early umbilical cord clamping have on neurodevelopment, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and symptoms of infection during the first 4 months of life.

Methods

Full-term infants (n = 382) were randomised to delayed (≥180 sec) or early cord clamping (≤10 sec). The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) was used to assess neurodevelopment at 4 months. Immunoglobulin G was measured at birth, 2–3 days and 4 months. Parents recorded any symptoms indicating infection during the first 4 months of life.

Results

The total scores from the ASQ did not differ between groups. However, the delayed cord clamping (DCC) group had a higher mean (SD) score in the problem-solving domain [55.3 (7.2) vs. 53.5 (8.2), p = 0.03] at 4 months and a lower mean (SD) score in the personal-social domain [49.5 (9.3) vs. 51.8 (8.1), p = 0.01]. The IgG level was higher in the DCC group at 2–3 days (11.7 vs. 11.0 g/L, p = 0.004), but did not differ between the groups at 4 months. Symptoms of infection were comparable between the groups.

Conclusion

Delayed cord clamping did not affect overall neurodevelopment or symptoms of infection up to 4 months of age, but may have an impact on specific neurodevelopmental domains.