Development and General Characteristics of Preterm and Term Newborn

  • Domenico ArduiniEmail author
  • Gaia Pasquali
  • Stefano Parmigiani
  • Daniela Gianotti
  • Giulio Bevilacqua
Reference work entry


The embryonic phase is a critical stage of development. Fetal growth is mostly influenced by maternal, uteroplacental factors, as well as genetic and environmental factors. During pregnancy, noninvasive screening tests are used to evaluate a baby’s health. Severe acute or chronic intrauterine hypoxic stress in utero are responsible for compromised circulation, organ dysfunction, and threaten survival or intact survival. The objective of modern obstetrics is the accurate detection of suboptimal fetal growth. Currently, sonography plays a critical role in providing a reliable estimate of fetal biometry, thus confirming the clinical suspicion of growth restriction and substantially influencing pregnancy management. Preterm birth, defined as birth at less than 37 weeks of gestation, is the main determinant of adverse infant outcome in terms of both survival and quality of life: the more preterm these infants are, the more serious are the complications. Because of advances in the care of these very vulnerable infants, survival at the earliest gestation is continuosly improving.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenico Arduini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gaia Pasquali
    • 1
  • Stefano Parmigiani
    • 2
  • Daniela Gianotti
    • 2
  • Giulio Bevilacqua
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and NeonatologyEastern Liguria HospitalLa SpeziaItaly

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