Newborns admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) require increased attention regarding neurological assessment and monitoring, due to immaturity or certain conditions that occur during the perinatal and neonatal period.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) following perinatal asphyxia is one of the most studied clinical conditions due to the risk of medium- and long-term neurobehavioral outcome.
We studied 43 newborns with HIE, for all 3 degrees of impairment, performed amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) in the first hours of life and collected common laboratory tests, following serum glycemia at admission and creatinine, creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) at admission and in the 3rd day of life.
Newborns with mild HIE presented normal aEEG pattern and slightly elevated CK. A total of 80.9% of the newborns with moderate HIE had seizure patterns in aEEG, while among those with severe HIE, 71.4% had seizure patterns in aEEG and 28.5% burst suppression.
CK and LDH were mean elevated in those with moderate HIE, and the newborns with severe HIE had also high creatinine values at admission and in the 3rd day of life.
Statistically significant differences between the 3 degrees of HIE were noted in terms of creatinine (P=0.009) and CK (P=0.008) at admission and LDH in the 3rd day of life (P=0.036).
Hypoglycemia was common in our study group. In conclusion, common blood tests in association with aEEG monitoring and rigorous neurological assessment can predict short-term outcome of HIE and multiorgan dysfunction and can help clinicians predict even long-term outcomes in severe HIE.