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Breech preterm infants are at risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip

Authors

  • Teddy Quan,

    1. Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • Alison L Kent,

    1. Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    2. Department of Neonatology, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • Hazel Carlisle

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neonatology, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • Conflict of interest: There are no competing interests. No funding was obtained for this study.

Correspondence: Dr Hazel Carlisle, Department of Neonatology, Canberra Hospital, PO Box 11, Woden, 2606, ACT, Australia. Fax: +61 2 6244 3112; email: hazel.carlisle@act.gov.au

Abstract

Aim

There is uncertainty about the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in breech preterm infants and therefore uncertainty about the benefits of using ultrasound screening in this population. The aim of this study was to determine if preterm infants born in the breech position are at risk of DDH.

Methods

A retrospective audit of preterm and term infants born in the breech position was performed to determine the incidence of DDH. Group 1 included breech preterm infants (<37 weeks gestational age) born between 2004 and 2008. Group 2 included breech term infants (≥37 weeks gestational age) born between 2005 and 2007. Infants were screened with clinical examination and ultrasound of the hip and were classified into two outcome groups: positive or negative for DDH.

Results

Three out of 129 (2.3%) preterm infants screened had DDH. For term infants, 3 out of 163 (1.8%) infants screened had DDH. The odds ratio for DDH in breech preterm infants compared with breech term infants was 1.27 (95% confidence interval 0.25 to 6.40).

Conclusion

Preterm infants born in the breech position appear to have a similar incidence of DDH to term infants and thus require similar screening guidelines.

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