Neonates with a gestational age <37 weeks are called preterm. This thesis, however, presents studies in very preterm infants (gestational age <28 weeks), some being even extremely preterm (gestational age <26 weeks). Apart from gestational age, preterm neonates can be classified according to birth weight: low birth weight infants, weighing <2500 gram; very low birth weight infants, weighing <1500 gram; and extremely low birth weight infants, weighing <1000 gram. The cause of prematurity is multifactorial. Maternal factors (preeclampsia, life style, age, infection), pregnancy factors (placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes, polyhydramnion) , as well as fetal factors (multiple gestation, congenital anomalies) play a role.

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Sophia Children’s Hospital Fund
J.B. van Goudoever (Hans)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

te Braake, F. (2008, December 11). The Need to Feed: Effects of amino acid administration on protein metabolism and antioxidant defense in preterm infants. Retrieved from