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Objective: To assess the effect of delayed cord clamping (DCC) vs immediate cord clamping (ICC) on intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), late onset sepsis (LOS), and 18-month motor outcomes in preterm infants.

Study Design: Women (n = 208) in labor with singleton fetuses (<32 weeks gestation) were randomized to either DCC (30-45 seconds) or ICC (<10 seconds). The primary outcomes were IVH, LOS, and motor outcomes at 18-22 months corrected age. Intention-to-treat was used for primary analyses.

Results: Cord clamping time was 32 ± 16 (DCC) vs 6.6 ± 6 (ICC) seconds. Infants in the DCC and ICC groups weighed 1203 ± 352 and 1136 ± 350 g and mean gestational age was 28.3 ± 2 and 28.4 ± 2 weeks, respectively. There were no differences in rates of IVH or LOS between groups. At 18-22 months, DCC was protective against motor scores below 85 on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.10-0.90, P = .03). There were more women with preeclampsia in the ICC group (37% vs 22%, P = .02) and more women in the DCC group with premature rupture of membranes/preterm labor (54% vs 75%, P = .002). Preeclampsia halved the risk of IVH (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.2-1.0) and premature rupture of membranes/preterm labor doubled the risk of IVH (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-4.3).

Conclusions: Although DCC did not alter the incidence of IVH or LOS in preterm infants, it improved motor function at 18-22 months corrected age.