Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

Steven Peterec, MD


Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, especially among neonates born less than 32 weeks’ gestation. Magnesium sulfate is the standard treatment for seizure prevention in preeclampsia and for fetal neuroprotection in mothers at risk for preterm delivery. However, the consequences of antenatal magnesium exposure on the very preterm neonate’s gastrointestinal tract are not fully established. This study will determine whether elevated magnesium levels in very preterm neonates are associated with adverse gastrointestinal outcomes from birth to 4 months. Specifically, using a prospective cohort design, we will measure magnesium in umbilical cord blood of very preterm neonates at the time of delivery and determine whether elevated levels are associated with feeding intolerance, necrotizing enterocolitis, or spontaneous intestinal perforation. This study may provide evidence for the use of umbilical cord magnesium concentration as a screening tool for risk for adverse gastrointestinal outcomes among very preterm neonates.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access