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- The Quality of General Movements after Treatment with Low-Dose Dexamethasone in Preterm Infants at Risk of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):222-228.
Background: High-dose dexamethasone (DXM) treatment of preterms at risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia leads to a deterioration in quality of their general movements (GMs). It is unknown whether low-dose DXM affects GM quality similarly. Objectives: To assess the effect of low-dose DXM treatment on the quality of GMs and fidgety GMs (FMs). Methods: A prospective study of preterms admitted to our NICU between 2010 and 2012, and treated with DXM (starting dose 0.25 mg/kg/day). We assessed GM/FM quality and calculated their motor optimality score (MOS) before, during, and after treatment up to 3 months postterm. Neurological follow-up was performed between 12 and 36 months. We related risk factors with infants' GM trajectories and MOSs. At 3 months we compared the MOSs of low-dose DXM infants and a historical cohort of infants treated with high-dose DXM or hydrocortisone. Results: 17 infants were included. GM/FM quality improved in 9 out of 13 initially abnormal infants (p = 0.004). Shorter periods of mechanical ventilation and higher birth weights were associated with better GM trajectories (p = 0.032 and p = 0.042, respectively). Infants starting treatment later had higher MOSs on day 7 (p = 0.047). Low-dose DXM infants had higher MOSs than high-dose DXM infants (β = -0.535; 95% CI -0.594 to -0.132; p = 0.003). Out of 17 infants, 2 died, 14 developed normally, and 1 developed with mild neurodevelopmental impairments. Infants whose GMs/FMs remained normal or improved had better outcomes than infants whose GMs/FMs remained abnormal (p = 0.019). Conclusions: Out of the 17 infants treated with low-dose DXM, 2 died. Of the surviving infants, neurological functioning improved with the majority having normal neurodevelopment at the age of 12-36 months. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Low-Flow Oxygen for Positive Pressure Ventilation of Preterm Infants in the Delivery Room. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):216-221.
Background: The recent newborn resuscitation guidelines have recommended that a pulse oximeter and oxygen blender be used to keep oxygen saturation (SpO2) within the target range. However, an oxygen blender and compressed air are not generally available in delivery rooms. Objectives: To determine whether using low-flow oxygen at 0.5-1 liters/min for positive pressure ventilation (PPV) via a self-inflating bag (SIB) without a reservoir is effective and able to maintain SpO2 within the target range. Methods: Infants with a gestational age (GA) ≤32 weeks who initially required PPV after birth were enrolled. PPV was performed with low-flow oxygen at 0.5-1 liters/min via an SIB without a reservoir, and the flow was adjusted in a stepwise manner (from 0.5 to 0.8 to 1 liters/min) to keep SpO2 in the target range. If the heart rate was still <100/min or SpO2 was <70% at 3 min or chest compression was needed, then 100% oxygen was provided. Results: Forty-seven infants were enrolled in the study with a median (interquartile range) GA and birth weight of 28 (27-30) weeks and 1,060 (770-1,360) g, respectively. Twelve infants were initially intubated and switched to 100% oxygen (n = 12) due to ineffective ventilation, which occurred predominately in lower GA infants with intrapartum fetal distress. Thirty infants were successfully resuscitated with low-flow oxygen PPV (success rate 85.7%, 30/35), and >80% of their SpO2 distribution during PPV was between the 3rd and 97th percentiles of the reference range. Conclusion: Low-flow oxygen for PPV via an SIB used in this study should be sufficient for providing oxygen in resuscitation of preterm infants as long as adequate ventilation is evident. This technique is simple and could be useful in a resource-limited setting. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Hypoxic/Ischemic and Infectious Events Have Cumulative Effects on the Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Preterm Infants. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):209-215.
Background: Hypoxia/ischemia and inflammation are two major mechanisms for cerebral palsy (CP) in preterm infants. Objective: To investigate whether hypoxia/ischemia- and infection-related events in the perinatal and neonatal periods had cumulative effects on CP risk in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) premature infants. Methods: From 1995 to 2005, 5,807 VLBW preterm infants admitted to Taiwan hospitals were enrolled. The cumulative effects of hypoxic/ischemic and infectious events during the perinatal and neonatal periods on CP risk at corrected age 24 months were analyzed. Results: Of the 4,355 infants with 24-month follow-up, 457 (10.5%) had CP. The CP group had significantly higher incidences of hypoxia/ischemia-related events in the perinatal and neonatal periods, and sepsis in the neonatal period than the normal group. Three hypoxic/ischemic events, including birth cardiopulmonary resuscitation (OR 2.25; 95% CI 1.81-2.82), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligation (2.94; 1.35-5.75) and chronic lung disease (3.14; 2.61-3.85) had the most significant contribution to CP. Relative to CP risk for infants with neither the three hypoxic/ischemic events nor sepsis, the CP odds increased 1.98-, 2.26- and 2.15-fold for infants with birth cardiopulmonary resuscitation, PDA ligation and chronic lung disease, respectively; while the combination with sepsis further increased the odds to 3.18-, 3.83- and 3.25-fold, respectively. Using the three hypoxic/ischemic events plus sepsis, CP rates were 10.0, 16.7, 26.7, 40.0 and 54.7% for infants with none, one, two, three and four events, respectively. Conclusions: Hypoxic/ischemic and infectious events across the perinatal and neonatal periods exerted cumulative effects on CP risk in VLBW premature infants. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Educating Neonatal Nurses in Brazil: A Before-and-After Study with Interrupted Time Series Analysis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):201-208.
Background: Preterm birth contributes significantly to infant mortality and morbidity, including blindness from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Access to intensive neonatal care is expanding in many countries, but care is not always optimal, one factor being that nursing is often by inadequately trained nurse assistants. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether an educational package for nurses improves a range of outcomes including survival rates and severe ROP in 5 neonatal units in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Methods: The study design included an uncontrolled before-and-after study in 5 units, with interrupted time series analysis. Participatory approaches were used to develop a self-administered educational package for control of pain, oxygenation, infection, nutrition, and temperature and to improve supportive care ('POINTS of Care'). Educational materials and DVD clips were developed and training skills of nurse tutors were enhanced. There were two 1-year periods of data collection before and after a 3-month period of self-administration of the education package. Results: Overall, 74% of 401 nurses and nurse assistants were trained. A total of 679 and 563 infants were included in the pre- and post-training periods, respectively. Despite improvement in knowledge and nursing practices, such as the delivery and monitoring of oxygen, there was no change in survival (pre-training 80%, post-training 78.2%), severe ROP (1.6 vs. 2.8%), sepsis (11.3 vs. 12.3 cases per 1,000 infant days) or other outcomes. Outcomes worsened over the pre-intervention period but the change to an improvement after the intervention was not statistically significant. During the study period many trained staff left the units, but few were replaced. Conclusions: Future studies need to focus on barriers to implementation, team building, leadership and governance, as well as the acquisition of knowledge and skills. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Early Detection of Impending Necrotizing Enterocolitis with Urinary Intestinal Fatty Acid-Binding Protein. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):195-200.
Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is diagnosed after the development of feeding intolerance and characteristic physical and imaging findings. Earlier detection of a subclinical prodrome might allow for the institution of measures that could prevent or attenuate the severity of the disease. Objectives: We sought to determine whether urinary intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (iFABPu) might be elevated prior to the first clinical manifestations of NEC. Methods: Urine was collected daily from 62 infants of a gestational age of 24-28 weeks. Based on clinical, imaging and operative findings, subjects were determined to have Bell stage 2 or 3 NEC. In all the subjects with NEC and in 21 age-matched controls, iFABPu was determined using an ELISA, and was expressed in terms of its ratio to urinary creatinine (Cr), i.e. iFABPu/Cru. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to define the predictive value of iFABPu/Cru for impending NEC in the days prior to the first clinical manifestations. Results: Five subjects developed NEC (stage 2: n = 3 and stage 3: n = 2). The day before the first clinical manifestation of NEC, a ROC curve showed that an iFABPu/Cru >10.2 pg/nmol predicted impending NEC with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 95.6%. iFABPu/Cru did not predict NEC 2 days prior to the first sign of disease. Conclusions: An elevated iFABPu was a sensitive and specific predictor of impending NEC 1 day prior to the first clinical manifestations. iFABPu screening might identify infants at a high risk and allow for the institution of measures that could ameliorate or prevent NEC. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Platelet counts in the first seven days of life and patent ductus arteriosus in preterm very low-birth-weight infants. [Journal Article]
- Neonatology 2014; 106(3):188-94.
Background:Decreased platelet number and/or function are related to patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in mice. Whether this is also the case in human infants remains controversial.
Objectives:To investigate the association between platelet count nadir within the first 7 days of life and the rate of hemodynamically significant PDA (HSPDA), as well as the rate of response to the treatment with cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors.
Methods:This is a retrospective study of a cohort of 194 very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants (<1,500 g) with gestational age <30 weeks. HSPDA was assessed by echocardiography on day 3 of life.
Results:HSPDA was present in 105 infants (54.1%). Of these, 101 were treated with COX inhibitors. The treatment failure rate was 21.8%. Median platelet count nadir and rate of thrombocytopenia - defined as platelet count <150 × 10(9)/l and graded as mild (100 to <150 × 10(9)/l), moderate (50 to <100 × 10(9)/l) or severe (<50 × 10(9)/l) - within the first 2 days of life were not significantly associated with the presence of HSPDA on day 3. Moreover, low platelet counts, either on days 1-2 or 3-7, were not significantly associated with the rate of response to treatment with COX inhibitors.
Conclusions:Our data provide further evidence for the lack of association between platelet counts within the first days of life and either spontaneous or pharmacological closure of the ductus arteriosus in VLBW infants. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Difference in Cerebral and Peripheral Hemodynamics among Term and Preterm Infants during the First Three Days of Life. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 5; 106(3):181-187.
Background: The relationship between cerebral and peripheral hemodynamics during the early postnatal period has not been clarified. Objectives: To evaluate cerebral and peripheral oxygenation and blood volumes between term and preterm infants during the first 3 days of life. Materials and Methods: We performed near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy on 32 term infants (term group) and 40 preterm infants (preterm group), with an optode placed on their forehead and upper arm. The cerebral blood volume (CBV), peripheral blood volume (PBV), cerebral Hb oxygen saturation (cSO2) and peripheral Hb oxygen saturation (pSO2) were measured at 3-6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h after birth. Results: The CBV in the term group (2.45 ± 0.47 ml/100 g) was significantly higher than that in the preterm group (1.97 ± 0.33 ml/100 g). In contrast to the CBV, the PBV in the preterm group (3.63 ± 0.76 ml/100 g) was significantly higher than that in the term group (3.26 ± 0.56 ml/100 g). In the preterm group, there was a significant positive relationship between the CBVs and PBVs at each time point except at 72 h after birth. Despite the differences in blood volumes, there were no differences in the cSO2 and pSO2 between the two groups. Conclusions: The contrasting results in the CBV and PBV between the term and preterm infants might be explained by differences in the maturation of the physiological mechanism to control CBV and PBV. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Historic Records on the Commercial Production of Infant Formula. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 4; 106(3):173-180.
Industrialized food production first appeared in 1856, pioneered by Borden in the USA, Liebig in Germany, Nestlé in Switzerland, and Mellin in the UK. Their products differed remarkably and deviated from human and cow's milk, and physicians discussed the importance of minute variations in protein, fat and carbohydrates. Proprietary formulas were free of bacteria, and the companies prospered with mass production, international marketing and aggressive advertising. From 1932 on, medical societies restricted advertising to the laity. In 1939 Williams in Singapore and in 1970 Jelliffe in Jamaica suspected that commercial formula may be increasing infant mortality in the Third World. Breastfeeding continued to decline during the early 20th century, falling in 1970 below 10% in the USA. The Swiss 'Third World Group' and the US 'Infant Formula Action Coalition' linked infant mortality and industry marketing in the Third World. The controversy of 1970-1984 led to the WHO Code, which regulated the advertising and marketing of baby food. This was one of several public health statements contributing to the resurgence of breastfeeding. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Impact of Common Treatments Given in the Perinatal Period on the Developing Brain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Neonatology 2014 Jul 4; 106(3):163-172.
Background: Over the last decades, considerable progress has been made in the perinatal management of high-risk preterm neonates, changing the landscape of pathological conditions associated with neurological impairments. Major focal destructive lesions are now less common, and the predominant neuropathological lesion is diffuse white-matter damage in the most immature infants. Similarly, over the last few years, we have observed a trend towards a decrease in neurological impairment in the absence of treatments specifically aimed at neuroprotection. Objectives: We examined whether recent changes in treatment strategies in perinatal care during the perinatal period could have had an indirect beneficial impact on the occurrence of brain lesions and their consequences. Methods: Thus, we reviewed the effects of the most common treatments administered during the perinatal period to the mother or to very preterm infants on brain damage and neurocognitive follow-up. Results: Antenatal steroids and exogenous surfactant are the two main treatments capable of leading to neuroprotection in very preterm infants. Randomized controlled trials are currently investigating the effects of inhaled nitric oxide and erythropoietin, while antenatal magnesium sulphate and caffeine are also likely to provide some neuroprotection, but this needs to be further investigated. Finally, other common treatments against pain, haemodynamic failure and patent ductus arteriosus have conflicting or no effects on the developing brain. Conclusion: While specific neuroprotective drugs are still awaited, recent advances in perinatal care have been associated with an unexpected but significant decrease in the incidence of both severe brain lesions and neurological impairment. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Anti-inflammatory effect of caffeine is associated with improved lung function after lipopolysaccharide-induced amnionitis. [Journal Article]
- Neonatology 2014; 106(3):235-40.