Neonatal asphyxia is a major topic of neonatal research. However, no clear-cut physiologic parameters exist which enable an early identification of neonatal infants who are either at risk to develop brain damage or post-hypoxic heart failure. Parameters indicating dysfunction of the heart and kidneys as creatinine and creatinine kinase have been evaluated. In our study, 47 asphyxiated infants (umbilical artery pH < 7.18 and either a 1-min Apgar score < 4 or a 5-min Apgar score < 7) were compared to 27 nonasphyxiated controls regarding significant differences in creatinine, creatinine kinase, its MB fraction, and a newly introduced myocardial hypoxia indicator - troponin T - to establish the value of these parameters in the retrospective diagnosis of asphyxia. Further we evaluated two subsets of these 47 asphyxiated infants with either subsequent signs of encephalopathy (seizures) or heart failure. Creatinine, creatinine kinase and troponin T were significantly elevated in asphyxiated infants compared with controls; no differences were found in creatinine kinase and its MB fraction. In asphyxiated infants with heart failure, troponin T was significantly higher than in the other asphyxiated infants. However, none of the parameters studied was significantly different in patients with brain damage compared with asphyxiated infants without neurological sequelae. Troponin T has a high positive predictive value in the postnatal diagnosis of asphyxia. The diagnostic power of troponin T equals that of creatinine. However, troponin T is more sensitive in the identification of infants with asphyxia and cardiocirculatory failure than creatinine. Creatinine kinase and its MB fraction have no diagnostic value.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)