VANCOUVER, B.C. – Intra- or extra-amniotic fluid infections during pregnancy elevate the risk of having a child with cerebral palsy, according to analysis of 6 million California birth records – although the findings shows an association, not causality.
Researchers showed that pregnant women who were hospitalized with a diagnosis of chorioamnionitis had a fourfold increase in the risk of having a child with cerebral palsy (CP), while genitourinary and respiratory infections increased that risk twofold.
"I think this is a very important study, and it took us a step further in trying to understand what could cause cerebral palsy," said Dr. Lee M. Sanders, associate professor of pediatrics and codirector of the Center for Policy, Outcomes, and Prevention at Stanford (Calif.) University.
Because the study shows an association only, however, "it’s important not to cause alarm," cautioned Dr. Sanders, who was not involved in the study.
In a video interview, Dr. Sanders explains what’s known so far about this association, the implications of the study’s findings, and the research that’s already underway.
The video associated with this article is no longer available on this site. Please view all of our videos on the MDedge YouTube channel .