Pediatric Annals

Guest Editorial Free

Neonatology: A Review of Common Findings and Rare Diagnoses

Alison Chu, MD; Theodore V. De Beritto, MD

With its breadth of information and wide scope of practice, neonatology can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding fields in medicine. With each decision, clinicians caring for the neonate have the potential to affect each patient's long-term outcome. This issue of Pediatric Annals aims to sample the range and scope of neonatology and hopes to touch at some of the everyday challenges that neonatologists face. This is brought to light through several different case illustrations and conditions of varying rarity. The articles in this issue drive at the diversity of this field and the variety of specialists required to provide thoughtful care to neonates.

In the first article, “Evaluation of the Neonate with Seizures,” Drs. Monika Martin, Jyes Querubin, Eunice Hagen, and Jina Lim provide a landscape on how to identify a neonatal seizure and overview the management of this often-complex issue. Importantly, the neonatal period is the most vulnerable period of life for developing seizures, making it a common medical condition in this population.

The second article, “Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita,” by Drs. Seth Langston and Alison Chu, explores an uncommon finding in neonates that requires collaboration from multiple specialties and often begins with diagnosis in-utero. This article provides background on the condition from both the maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology aspects, discusses the condition's etiologies, and gives an overview on the measures taken for optimal management of this condition.

The next article, “Neonatal Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma Infections,” by Drs. Chu, Annabelle de St. Maurice, Myung S. Sim, and Suhas G. Kallapur, reviews the literature regarding whether these ubiquitous infectious agents affect neonatal outcomes. This remains a debated topic, and a challenge in the clinical care of the preterm neonate.

In the final article, “Congenital Cervical Spondyloptosis in the Neonate: A Prenatal Diagnosis,” Drs. Shannon B. Liu and Theodore V. De Beritto describe a rare spinal abnormality diagnosed during a routine prenatal visit. Although rare, this article provides a background on cervical spondyloptosis and overviews its management both in the delivery room and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This article gives a broad perspective on the management of spinal abnormalities and their associated conditions.

It is a privilege to care for neonates and to be a part of their lives and their families. As neonatologists, we recognize that each decision not only places emphasis on the immediate health of the infant, but on the effect that these choices will have on the infant's future. In this issue, we aim to provide a taste of both common and rare conditions in this population and acknowledge that life continues beyond the NICU.

As neonatology care is handed-off to the general pediatrician, we appreciate that this transition is part of a continuum rather than an abrupt change. Successful collaboration, attention to detail, and good communication are paramount for optimal outcomes and the successful development of each infant. We hope that these articles are valuable to both the neonatologist and the general pediatrician, as well as inspiring to those interested in the care of our youngest patients.


About the Guest Editors

Alison Chu, MD
Theodore V. De Beritto, MD

Alison Chu, MD, is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She graduated from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and received her residency and fellowship training at The University of Chicago. Her research interests include placental insufficiency and retinopathy of prematurity, and she has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and by the UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute, among others. She has authored over 13 peer-reviewed publications, 19 reviews, two books chapters, and co-edited a neonatology textbook. In addition to caring for neonates, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, and preventing caloric deficit with banoffee pie.

Address correspodence to Alison Chu, MD, via email at

Theodore V. De Beritto, MD, is a recently graduated Neonatology Fellow and will be joining the faculty in the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His fellowship training was completed at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center and his residency in Pediatrics at The University of Chicago. He has authored 11 publications and research interests include cost-effectiveness and medical education. In addition to caring for the youngest of patients, he enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, and being frustrated with the game of golf.

Address correspondence to Theodore V. De Beritto, MD, via email at

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


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