Objective To investigate differences and calculate pooled incidence of any intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH), severe IVH (Grade III/IV, sIVH) and ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) placement in preterm infants across geographical, health and economic regions stratified by gestational age (GA).
Design MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and Web of Science were searched between 2010 and 2020. Studies reporting rates of preterm infants with any IVH, sIVH and VPS by GA subgroup were included. Meta-regression was performed to determine subgroup differences between study designs and across United Nations geographical regions, WHO mortality strata and World Bank lending regions. Incidence of any IVH, sIVH and VPS by GA subgroups<25, <28, 28–31, 32–33 and 34–36 weeks were calculated using random-effects meta-analysis.
Results Of 6273 publications, 97 met inclusion criteria. Incidence of any IVH (37 studies 87 993 patients) was: 44.7% (95% CI 40.9% to 48.5%) for GA <25 weeks, 34.3% (95% CI 31.2% to 37.6%) for GA <28 weeks, 17.4% (95% CI 13.8% to 21.6%) for GA 28–31 weeks, 11.3% (95% CI 7.3% to 17.0%) for GA32–33 weeks and 4.9% (95% CI 1.4% to 15.2%) for GA 34–36 weeks. Incidence of sIVH (49 studies 328 562 patients) was 23.7% (95% CI 20.9% to 26.7%) for GA <25 weeks, 15.0% (95% CI 13.1% to 17.2%) for GA <28 weeks, 4.6% (95% CI 3.5% to 6.1%) for GA 28–31 weeks, 3.3% (95% CI 2.1% to 5.1%) for GA 32–33 weeks and 1.8% (95% CI 1.2% to 2.8%) for GA 34–36 weeks. Europe had lower reported incidence of any IVH and sIVH relative to North America (p<0.05). Proportion of VPS across all GA groups was 8.4% (95% CI 4.7% to 14.7%) for any IVH and 17.2% (95% CI 12.2% to 26.2%) for sIVH. Heterogeneity was high (I2 >90%) but 64%–85% of the variance was explained by GA and study inclusion criteria.
Conclusions We report the first pooled estimates of IVH of prematurity by GA subgroup. There was high heterogeneity across studies suggesting a need for standardised incidence reporting guidelines.
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. All raw data are available upon request to the corresponding author (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Contributors GYL is guarantor and conceptualised and designed the study, coordinated and supervised data collection, collected data, carried out the analyses, drafted the initial manuscript, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. NS collected data, carried out the initial analyses, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. AW conceptualised and designed the study, coordinated and supervised data collection, designed and performed the database search, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. RG, MD, AK, JD and SL conceptualised and designed the study, and critically reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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