Inflammation at Birth is associated with Subnormal Development in Very Preterm Infants.

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Preterm birth carries a risk for impaired developmental outcome. We have previously described an association between increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines during the first 72 postnatal hours and cerebral damage as detected by ultrasound in a cohort of 74 very preterm infants. Sixty-seven of 71 surviving children with a mean (SD) GA of 27.1 (2.0) weeks were examined at 2 years corrected age with a standardized neurological examination and with Bayley Scales of Infant Development. We hypothesized that pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations at or shortly after birth would be associated with an adverse developmental outcome. Increased concentrations of TNF-alpha in cord blood OR (95% CI) 3.3 (1.1-10.2), p=0.013 and at 6 h 7.8 (0.9-71.8), p=0.015 and of IL-6 in cord blood 1.7 (1.0-2.9), p=0.048 were associated with psychomotor developmental index <85. Increased concentrations of TNF-alpha in cord blood OR (95% CI) 3.6 (1.002-12.8), p=0.044 and of IL-8 in cord blood 3.5 (1.2-10.6), p=0.023 were associated with cerebral palsy. Associations of TNF-alpha and IL-8 in cord blood with the respective outcome measures remained significant after adjustment for other clinical variables. Pro-inflammation at birth is associated with impaired functional outcome at 2 years of corrected age in children with very preterm birth.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
JournalPediatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch