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Early Prediction of Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury by a New Panel of Biomarkers in a Population of Term Newborns

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Simona Negro, Manon J.N.L. Benders, Maria Luisa Tataranno, Caterina Coviello, Linda S. de Vries, Frank van Bel, Floris Groenendaal, Mariangela Longini, Fabrizio Proietti, Elisa Belvisi, Giuseppe Buonocore, Serafina Perrone

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018

King's Authors


This research paper is aimed at evaluating the predictive role of a default panel of oxidative stress (OS) biomarkers for the early identification of infants at high risk of HIE and their validation through the correlation with MRI findings. A multicenter prospective observational study was performed between March 2012 and April 2015 in two European tertiary NICUs. Eighty-four term infants at risk for HIE (pH < 7, BE < -13 mmol/L, and 5' Apgar < 5) were enrolled. Three were excluded for chromosomal abnormalities and one due to lack of blood samples. The final population was divided according to the severity of perinatal hypoxia into 2 groups: mild/moderate HIE and severe HIE. Advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), non-protein-bound iron (NPBI), and F2-isoprostanes (F2-IsoPs) were measured in blood samples at P1 (4-6 hours), P2 (24-72 hours), and P3 (5 days), in both groups. MRIs were scored for the severity of brain injury, using a modified Barkovich score. The mean GA was 39.8 weeks (SD 1.4) and the mean birth weight 3538 grams (SD 660); 37 were females and 43 males. Significantly lower 5' Apgar score, pH, and BE and higher Thompson score were found in group II compared to group I at birth. Group II showed significantly higher AOPP and NPBI levels than group I (mean (SD) AOPP: 15.7 (15.5) versus 34.1 (39.2), p = 0.033; NPBI 1.1 (2.5) versus 3.9 (4.4), p = 0.013) soon after birth (P1). No differences were observed in OS biomarker levels between the two groups at P2 and P3. A regression model, including adjustment for hypothermia treatment, gender, and time after birth, showed that AOPP levels and male gender were both risk factors for higher brain damage scores (AOPP: OR 3.6, 95% CI (1.1-12.2) and gender: OR 5.6, 95% CI (1.2-25.7), resp.). Newborns with severe asphyxia showed higher OS than those with mild asphyxia at birth. AOPP are significantly associated with the severity of brain injury assessed by MRI, especially in males.

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