Author(s): Bartha AI, FosterBarber A, Miller SP, Vigneron DB, Glidden DV,
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Abstract In term neonatal encephalopathy, little is known about the relationship between early inflammatory markers, neonatal brain injury, and long-term neurodevelopmental outcome. Our goal was to determine whether neonatal serum cytokine levels are associated with cerebral metabolism assessed by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities, and with neurodevelopmental outcome at 30 mo of age. Levels of seven cytokines [IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-9, IL-12, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] were measured in dried neonatal blood by immunoaffinity chromatography in a prospective cohort of 62 term newborns at risk of neonatal encephalopathy. MR images (n = 61) were scored and lactate/choline and N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA)/choline were measured by MRS (n = 42) on median day of life 6 in the deep gray nuclei (DGN) and in the watershed/cortical zone (WS). Neurodevelopmental outcome (n = 54) was considered abnormal if the infant died or if cognitive delay and/or functional motor deficit were detected at 30 mo. IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha were significantly associated with lactate/choline in the DGN (p = 0.03, 0.02, 0.03, and 0.01 respectively), but not in the WS (all p > 0.1). Cytokines were not associated with NAA/choline in any region or with MRI scores. Children with abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome had higher neonatal levels of IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, and lower levels of IL-12 (p = 0.04, 0.03, 0.01, 0.03 respectively). Elevated inflammatory cytokines were associated with impaired cerebral oxidative metabolism, but not with detectable MRI changes in the neonatal period. Understanding the link between elevated cytokines and outcome would inform novel strategies of cerebral protection.
This article was published in Pediatr Res
and referenced in Gynecology & Obstetrics