To determine in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants if elevated blood inteferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-18, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) are associated with need for shunt following severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), or with ventricular dilation following milder grades /no IVH.
Whole blood cytokines were measured on postnatal days 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21. Maximum IVH grade in the first 28d, and shunt surgery or ventricular dilation on subsequent ultrasound (28d -36 w PMA) were determined.
Of 902 infants in the NICHD NRN Cytokine study who survived to 36w/discharge, 3.1% had shunts. Of the 12% of infants with severe (Gr III–IV) IVH, 26% had a shunt associated with elevated TNF-α. None of the infants without IVH (69%) or with Gr I (12%) or II (7%) IVH received shunts, but 8.4% developed ventricular dilation, associated with lower IFN-γ and higher IL-18.
Statistically significant but clinically non-discriminatory alterations in blood cytokines were noted in infants with severe IVH who received shunts and in those without severe IVH who developed ventricular dilation. Blood cytokines are likely associated with brain injury but may not be clinically useful as biomarkers for white matter damage.
Infant; premature; Cytokines; Hydrocephalus; Intraventricular hemorrhage; Intracranial hemorrhage
Rationale: DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism, which often occurs in response to environmental stimuli and is crucial in regulating gene expression. It is likely that epigenetic alterations contribute to pathogenesis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Objectives: To determine the DNA methylation changes in IPF and their effects on gene expression.
Methods: Total DNA methylation and DNA methyltransferase expression were compared in IPF and normal control lung tissues. IPF and normal tissues were subjected to comparative analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation and RNA expression using DNA hybridization to the Illumina HumanMethylation27 BeadChip and RNA hybridization to Illumina HumanHT-12 BeadChip. Functional analyses of differentially expressed and differentially methylated genes were done. Selected genes were validated at DNA, RNA, and protein levels.
Measurements and Main Results: DNA methylation status was altered in IPF. IPF samples demonstrated higher DNA methyltransferase expression without observed alterations in global DNA methylation. Genome-wide differences in DNA methylation status and RNA expression were demonstrated by array hybridization. Among the genes whose DNA methylation status and RNA expression were both significantly altered, 16 genes were hypermethylated in DNA associated with decreased mRNA expression or vice versa. We validated CLDN5, ZNF467, TP53INP1, and DDAH1 genes at the level of DNA methylation status, RNA, and protein-level expression.
Conclusions: Changes in DNA methylation correspond to altered mRNA expression of a number of genes, some with known and others with previously uncharacterized roles in IPF, suggesting that DNA methylation is important in the pathogenesis of IPF.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; DNA methylation; gene expression; microarray
TGF-β, a mediator of pulmonary fibrosis, is a genetic modifier of CF respiratory deterioration. The mechanistic relationship between TGF-β signaling and CF lung disease has not been determined.
To investigate myofibroblast differentiation in CF lung tissue as a novel pathway by which TGF-β signaling may contribute to pulmonary decline, airway remodeling and tissue fibrosis.
Lung samples from CF and non-CF subjects were analyzed morphometrically for total TGF-β1, TGF-β signaling (Smad2 phosphorylation), myofibroblast differentiation (α-smooth muscle actin), and collagen deposition (Masson trichrome stain).
TGF-β signaling and fibrosis are markedly increased in CF (p<0.01), and the presence of myofibroblasts is four-fold higher in CF vs. normal lung tissue (p<0.005). In lung tissue with prominent TGF-β signaling, both myofibroblast differentiation and tissue fibrosis are significantly augmented (p<0.005).
These studies establish for the first time that a pathogenic mechanism described previously in pulmonary fibrosis is also prominent in cystic fibrosis lung disease. The presence of TGF-β dependent signaling in areas of prominent myofibroblast proliferation and fibrosis in CF suggests that strategies under development for other pro-fibrotic lung conditions may also be evaluated for use in CF.
To identify urine biomarkers predictive of acute kidney injury (AKI) in infants admitted to level 2 and 3 neonatal intensive care units with birth weight >2000 g and 5-minute Apgar score ≤7.
A nested case-control study was performed comparing 8 candidate urine AKI biomarkers in infants with AKI (defined as a rise in serum creatinine of at least 0.3 mg/dL or a serum creatinine elevation ≥1.7 mg/dL persisting for 3 days) and 24 infants from the described cohort without AKI. Urine was analyzed for neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin, osteopontin, cystatin C, albumin, β2 microglobulin, epithelial growth factor, uromodulin (UMOD), and kidney injury molecule 1.
Compared with the infants without AKI, those with AKI had higher levels of urine cystatin C (1123 pg/mL [95% CI, 272-4635 pg/mL] vs 90 pg/mL [95% CI, 39-205 pg/mL]; P < .004; area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.82), lower levels of UMOD (11.0 pg/mL [95% CI, 5.7-21.4 pg/mL] vs 26.2 pg/mL [95% CI, 17.4-39.4 pg/mL]; P < .03; AUC = 0.77), and lower levels of epithelial growth factor (6.7 pg/mL [95% CI, 4.0-11.3 pg/mL] vs 17.4 pg/mL [95% CI, 12.7-23.8 pg/mL; P = .003; AUC = 0.82). Although the differences were not statistically significant, levels of urine neutrophil–associated gelatinase lipocalin, kidney injury molecule 1, and osteopontin trended higher in infants with AKI.
Urinary biomarkers can predict AKI in neonates admitted to level 2 and 3 neonatal intensive care units.
Methods are required to predict prognosis with changes in clinical course. Death or neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely premature neonates can be predicted at birth/admission to the ICU by considering gender, antenatal steroids, multiple birth, birth weight, and gestational age. Predictions may be improved by using additional information available later during the clinical course. Our objective was to develop serial predictions of outcome by using prognostic factors available over the course of NICU hospitalization.
Data on infants with birth weight ≤1.0 kg admitted to 18 large academic tertiary NICUs during 1998–2005 were used to develop multivariable regression models following stepwise variable selection. Models were developed by using all survivors at specific times during hospitalization (in delivery room [n = 8713], 7-day [n = 6996], 28-day [n = 6241], and 36-week postmenstrual age [n = 5118]) to predict death or death/neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months.
Prediction of death or neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely premature infants is improved by using information available later during the clinical course. The importance of birth weight declines, whereas the importance of respiratory illness severity increases with advancing postnatal age. The c-statistic in validation models ranged from 0.74 to 0.80 with misclassification rates ranging from 0.28 to 0.30.
Dynamic models of the changing probability of individual outcome can improve outcome predictions in preterm infants. Various current and future scenarios can be modeled by input of different clinical possibilities to develop individual “outcome trajectories” and evaluate impact of possible morbidities on outcome.
logistic models; premature infant; predictive value of tests; prognosis
We sought to determine if a center’s approach to care of premature infants at the youngest gestational ages (22–24 weeks’ gestation) is associated with clinical outcomes among infants of older gestational ages (25–27 weeks’ gestation).
Inborn infants of 401 to 1000 g birth weight and 22 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks’ gestation at birth from 2002 to 2008 were enrolled into a prospectively collected database at 20 centers participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Markers of an aggressive approach to care for 22- to 24-week infants included use of antenatal corticosteroids, cesarean delivery, and resuscitation. The primary outcome was death before postnatal day 120 for infants of 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Secondary outcomes were the combined outcomes of death or a number of morbidities associated with prematurity.
Our study included 3631 infants 22 to 24 weeks’ gestation and 5227 infants 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Among the 22- to 24-week infants, use of antenatal corticosteroids ranged from 28% to 100%, cesarean delivery from 13% to 65%, and resuscitation from 30% to 100% by center. Centers with higher rates of antenatal corticosteroid use in 22- to 24-week infants had reduced rates of death, death or retinopathy of prematurity, death or late-onset sepsis, death or necrotizing enterocolitis, and death or neurodevelopmental impairment in 25- to 27-week infants.
This study suggests that physicians’ willingness to provide care to extremely low gestation infants as measured by frequency of use of antenatal corticosteroids is associated with improved outcomes for more-mature infants.
low-birth weight infant; NICUs; treatment; patient outcome assessment
Thy-1 is a glycosylphosphytidylinositol-linked cell-surface glycoprotein present on a subset of lung fibroblasts, which plays an important role in postnatal alveolarization. In the present study, we define the role of Thy-1 in pulmonary lipofibroblast differentiation and in the regulation of lipid homeostasis via peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor–γ (PPARγ). Thy-1 was associated with interstitial cells containing lipid droplets in vivo. The transfection of Thy-1 into Thy-1 (−) fibroblasts increased triglyceride content, fatty-acid uptake, and the expression of the lipofibroblast marker adipocyte differentiation–related protein. Thy-1 (+) fibroblasts exhibited 2.4-fold higher PPARγ activity, and the inhibition or activation of PPARγ reduced and increased triglyceride content, respectively. Thy-1 (−) fibroblasts were not responsive to either of the PPARγ agonists ciglitazone or prostaglandin J2, supporting the importance of Thy-1 in signaling via PPARγ. Thy-1 (+) fibroblasts expressed significantly higher concentrations of fatty-acid transporter protein–3 mRNA, and demonstrated higher rates of fatty-acid uptake and increased triglyceride content. The inhibition of fatty-acid transporter protein function reduced Thy-1 (+) fibroblast lipid content. The expression of Thy-1 in C57BL/6 lung fibroblasts increased during the neonatal period, coinciding with the onset of alveolarization. Thy-1 promoted lipofibroblast differentiation via the expression of PPARγ, stimulated lipid accumulation via fatty-acid esterification, and enhanced the fatty-acid uptake mediated by fatty-acid transporter proteins. Thy-1 is important in the regulation of lipofibroblast differentiation in the developing lung.
Thy-1; lipofibroblast; PPARγ; lipid metabolism
Pulmonary hypertension is associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants and contributes to morbidity and mortality. The objective was to determine the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension among ELBW infants by screening echocardiography and evaluate subsequent outcomes.
All ELBW infants admitted to a regional perinatal center were evaluated for pulmonary hypertension with echocardiography at 4 weeks of age and subsequently if clinical signs suggestive of right-sided heart failure or severe lung disease were evident. Management was at discretion of the clinician, and infants were evaluated until discharge from the hospital or pre-discharge death occurred.
One hundred forty-five ELBW infants (birth weight: 755 ± 144 g; median gestational age: 26 weeks [interquartile range: 24–27]) were screened from December 2008 to February 2011. Overall, 26 (17.9%) were diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension at any time during hospitalization (birth weight: 665 ± 140 g; median gestational age: 26 weeks [interquartile range: 24–27]): 9 (6.2%) by initial screening (early pulmonary hypertension) and 17 (11.7%) who were identified later (late pulmonary hypertension). Infants with pulmonary hypertension were more likely to receive oxygen treatment on day 28 compared with those without pulmonary hypertension (96% vs 75%, P < .05). Of the 26 infants, 3 died (all in the late group because of cor pulmonale) before being discharged from the hospital.
Pulmonary hypertension is relatively common, affecting at least 1 in 6 ELBW infants, and persists to discharge in most survivors. Routine screening of ELBW infants with echocardiography at 4 weeks of age identifies only one-third of the infants diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Further research is required to determine optimal detection and intervention strategies.
premature infant; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; pulmonary hypertension
To determine if selected pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines/mediators of inflammation reported to be related to development of cerebral palsy predict neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely low birth weight infants.
Infants with birth weights ≤ 1000 g (n=1067) had blood samples collected at birth and on days 3±1, 7±1, 14±3, and 21±3 to examine the association between cytokines and neurodevelopmental outcomes. The analyses were focused on five cytokines (IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-α, RANTES, and IL-2) reported to be most predictive of CP in term and late preterm infants.
IL-8 was higher on days 0–4 and subsequently in infants who developed CP compared with infants who did not develop CP in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Other cytokines (IL-12, IL-17, TNF-β, SIL-rα, MIP-1β) were found to be altered on days 0–4 in infants who developed CP.
CP in former preterm infants may, in part, have a late perinatal and/or early neonatal inflammatory origin.
Extremely low birth weight infants often require rehospitalization during infancy. Our objective was to identify at the time of discharge which extremely low birth weight infants are at higher risk for rehospitalization.
Data from extremely low birth weight infants in Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network centers from 2002–2005 were analyzed. The primary outcome was rehospitalization by the 18- to 22-month follow-up, and secondary outcome was rehospitalization for respiratory causes in the first year. Using variables and odds ratios identified by stepwise logistic regression, scoring systems were developed with scores proportional to odds ratios. Classification and regression-tree analysis was performed by recursive partitioning and automatic selection of optimal cutoff points of variables.
A total of 3787 infants were evaluated (mean ± SD birth weight: 787 ± 136 g; gestational age: 26 ± 2 weeks; 48% male, 42% black). Forty-five percent of the infants were rehospitalized by 18 to 22 months; 14.7% were rehospitalized for respiratory causes in the first year. Both regression models (area under the curve: 0.63) and classification and regression-tree models (mean misclassification rate: 40%–42%) were moderately accurate. Predictors for the primary outcome by regression were shunt surgery for hydrocephalus, hospital stay of >120 days for pulmonary reasons, necrotizing enterocolitis stage II or higher or spontaneous gastrointestinal perforation, higher fraction of inspired oxygen at 36 weeks, and male gender. By classification and regression-tree analysis, infants with hospital stays of >120 days for pulmonary reasons had a 66% rehospitalization rate compared with 42% without such a stay.
The scoring systems and classification and regression-tree analysis models identified infants at higher risk of rehospitalization and might assist planning for care after discharge.
logistic models; infant; premature; predictive value of tests
Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) reduces death or need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). However, the response to iNO is variable and only 50–60% of infants demonstrate a response to iNO. It is not known why only some infants respond to iNO. Adults and children with blood groups B or AB do not respond as well to iNO as those with blood groups O/A.
To determine if blood group was associated with iNO response in newborn infants, a retrospective medical record review was done of infants admitted to a regional NICU from 2002-9 with a diagnosis of PPHN. Data were collected during the first twelve hours post-initiation of treatment. Of 86 infants diagnosed with PPHN, 23 infants had blood group A [18 received iNO], 21 had group B [18 with iNO], 40 had group O [36 with iNO], and 2 had group AB [both received iNO]. Change in PaO2/FiO2 was less in infants with blood group A, of whom less than half were responders (ΔPaO2/FiO2>20%) at 12 h versus 90% of infants with either O or B. Race, sex, birth weight, gestational age, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes, and baseline PaO2/FiO2 were similar among groups. Outcomes including need for ECMO, death, length of ventilatory support, length of iNO use, and hospital stay were statistically not different by blood groups.
Our results indicate that blood group influences iNO response in neonates. We hypothesize that either there is genetic linkage of the ABO gene locus with vasoregulatory genes, or that blood group antigens directly affect vascular reactivity.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in premature infants and is associated with poor outcomes. Novel biomarkers can detect AKI promptly. Because premature infants are born with underdeveloped kidneys, baseline biomarker values may differ. We describe baseline values of urinary neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin, (NGAL), Interleukin - 18 (IL-18), Kidney Injury Molecule -1 (KIM -1), Osteopontin (OPN), beta-2 microglobulin (B2mG) and Cystatin-C (Cys-C). Next, we test the hypothesis that these biomarkers are inversely related to gestational age (GA). Candidate markers were compared according to GA categories in 123 infants. Mixed linear regression models were performed to determine the independent association between demographics/interventions and baseline biomarker values. We found that urine NGAL, KIM-1, Cys-C and B2mG decreased with increasing GA. With correction for urine creatinine (cr), these markers and OPN/cr decreased with increasing GA. IL-18 (with or without correction for urine creatinine) did not differ across GA categories. Controlling for other potential clinical and demographic confounders with regression analysis shows that, NGAL/cr, OPN/cr and B2mG/cr are independently associated with GA. We conclude that urine values of candidate AKI biomarkers are higher in the most premature infants. These findings should be considered when designing neonatal AKI validation studies.
Oxygen therapy for infants and small children in developing countries is often not available. Entrainment devices may provide an accurate and precise concentration of oxygen when used at the flow rates appropriate for infants and small children.
A continuously adjustable entrainment device was tested to determine the concentrations and flows of oxygen delivered by using low inlet flow rates suitable for therapy for infants and small children and 3 distinct oxygen delivery systems that varied in their resistive load.
The use of long and large bore, low resistance tubing (similar to a mask) resulted in the delivery of oxygen concentrations that tracked closely (accurate and precise) to values indicated by the entrainment device. The directly connected system with lower resistance (similar to a hood) produced a similar profile of concentrations and flow rates to the large bore tubing but with even greater accuracy. The use of a long and narrow tubing with higher resistance (similar to a cannula) did not deliver accurate oxygen concentrations. In fact, this high-resistance system failed to work as intended, and instead of entraining air, a large proportion (sometimes >50%) of the oxygen delivered to the entrainment device was ejected through its vents.
Entrainment devices can deliver accurate oxygen concentrations at low flow rates if used with low resistance delivery systems; however, entrainment devices are not suitable for use with high resistance delivery systems such as a standard nasal cannula.
Venturi; infants; mortality; pneumonia; developing countries; entrainment
Rationale: Benefits of identifying risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants include providing prognostic information, identifying infants likely to benefit from preventive strategies, and stratifying infants for clinical trial enrollment.
Objectives: To identify risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the competing outcome of death, by postnatal day; to identify which risk factors improve prediction; and to develop a Web-based estimator using readily available clinical information to predict risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death.
Methods: We assessed infants of 23–30 weeks' gestation born in 17 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and enrolled in the Neonatal Research Network Benchmarking Trial from 2000–2004.
Measurements and Main Results: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined as a categorical variable (none, mild, moderate, or severe). We developed and validated models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia risk at six postnatal ages using gestational age, birth weight, race and ethnicity, sex, respiratory support, and FiO2, and examined the models using a C statistic (area under the curve). A total of 3,636 infants were eligible for this study. Prediction improved with advancing postnatal age, increasing from a C statistic of 0.793 on Day 1 to a maximum of 0.854 on Day 28. On Postnatal Days 1 and 3, gestational age best improved outcome prediction; on Postnatal Days 7, 14, 21, and 28, type of respiratory support did so. A Web-based model providing predicted estimates for bronchopulmonary dysplasia by postnatal day is available at https://neonatal.rti.org.
Conclusions: The probability of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants can be determined accurately using a limited amount of readily available clinical information.
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; low-birth-weight infant
Nanostructured diamond coatings improve the smoothness and wear characteristics of the metallic component of total hip replacements and increase the longevity of these implants, but the effect of nanodiamond wear debris on macrophages needs to be determined to estimate the long-term inflammatory effects of wear debris. The objective was to investigate the effect of the size of synthetic nanodiamond particles on macrophage proliferation (BrdU incorporation), apoptosis (Annexin-V flow cytometry), metabolic activity (WST-1 assay) and inflammatory cytokine production (qPCR). RAW 264.7 macrophages were exposed to varying sizes (6, 60, 100, 250 and 500 nm) and concentrations (0, 10, 50, 100 and 200 μg ml−1) of synthetic nanodiamonds. We observed that cell proliferation but not metabolic activity was decreased with nanoparticle sizes of 6–100 nm at lower concentrations (50 μg ml−1), and both cell proliferation and metabolic activity were significantly reduced with nanodiamond concentrations of 200 μg ml−1. Flow cytometry indicated a significant reduction in cell viability due to necrosis irrespective of particle size. Nanodiamond exposure significantly reduced gene expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, chemokine Ccl2 and platelet-derived growth factor compared to serum-only controls or titanium oxide (anatase 8 nm) nanoparticles, with variable effects on chemokine Cxcl2 and vascular endothelial growth factor. In general, our study demonstrates a size and concentration dependence of macrophage responses in vitro to nanodiamond particles as possible wear debris from diamond-coated orthopedic joint implants.
Diamond; Nanoparticles; Wear debris; Macrophage; Osteolysis
Background & Aims
Premature neonates are predisposed to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an idiopathic, inflammatory bowel necrosis. We investigated the hypothesis that NEC occurs in the preterm intestine due to incomplete ‘non-inflammatory’ differentiation of intestinal macrophages, which increases the risk of a severe mucosal inflammatory response to bacterial products.
We compared inflammatory properties of human/murine fetal, neonatal, and adult intestinal macrophages. To investigate gut-specific macrophage differentiation, we next treated monocyte-derived macrophages with conditioned media from ex planted human fetal and adult intestinal tissues. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) expression and bioactivity were measured in fetal/adult intestine and in NEC. Finally, we used wild-type and transgenic mice to investigate the effects of deficient TGF-β signaling on NEC-like inflammatory mucosal injury.
Intestinal macrophages in the human preterm intestine (fetus/premature neonate), but not in full-term neonates and adults, expressed inflammatory cytokines. Macrophage cytokine production was suppressed in the developing intestine by TGF-β, particularly the TGF-β2 isoform. NEC was associated with decreased tissue expression of TGF-β2 and decreased TGF-β bioactivity. In mice, disruption of TGF-β signaling worsened NEC-like inflammatory mucosal injury, whereas enteral supplementation with recombinant TGF-β2 was protective.
Intestinal macrophages progressively acquire a non-inflammatory profile during gestational development. TGF-β, particularly the TGF-β2 isoform, suppresses macrophage inflammatory responses in the developing intestine and protects against inflammatory mucosal injury. Enterally-administered TGF-β2 protected mice from experimental NEC-like injury.
necrotizing enterocolitis; macrophage; newborn; inflammation; TGF-β
To determine (1) the magnitude of clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (36 weeks) or death (the outcome) across centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development National Research Network, (2) the infant-level variables associated with the outcome and estimate their clustering, and (3) the center-specific practices associated with the differences and build predictive models.
Data on neonates with a birth weight of <1250 g from the cluster-randomized benchmarking trial were used to determine the magnitude of clustering of the outcome according to alternating logistic regression by using pairwise odds ratio and predictive modeling. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were identified by using multivariate analysis. The magnitude of clustering was then evaluated after correction for infant-level variables. Predictive models were developed by using center-specific and infant-level variables for data from 2001 2004 and projected to 2006.
In 2001–2004, clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death was significant (pairwise odds ratio: 1.3; P < .001) and increased in 2006 (pairwise odds ratio: 1.6; overall incidence: 52%; range across centers: 32%–74%); center rates were relatively stable over time. Variables that varied according to center and were associated with increased risk of outcome included lower body temperature at NICU admission, use of prophylactic indomethacin, specific drug therapy on day 1, and lack of endotracheal intubation. Center differences remained significant even after correction for clustered variables.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death rates demonstrated moderate clustering according to center. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were also clustered. Center differences after correction of clustered variables indicate presence of as-yet unmeasured center variables.
logistic models; infant; premature; predictive value of tests; clustering
To examine the impact of birth at night, on the weekend, and during July or August – the first months of the academic year – and the impact of resident duty-hour restrictions on mortality and morbidity of VLBW infants.
Outcomes were analyzed for 11,137 infants with birth weight 501–1250 grams enrolled in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network registry 2001–2005. Approximately half were born before the introduction of resident duty-hour restrictions in 2003. Follow-up assessment at 18–22 months was completed for 4,508 infants. Mortality (7-day and 28-day), short-term morbidities, and neurodevelopmental outcome were examined with respect to the timing of birth: night vs day, weekend vs weekday, and July or August vs other months, and after vs before implementation of resident duty-hour restrictions.
There was no effect of hour, day, or month of birth on mortality and no impact on the risks of short-term morbidities except the risk of ROP requiring operative treatment was lower for infants born during the late night hours than during the day. There was no impact of timing of birth on neurodevelopmental outcome except the risk of hearing impairment or death was slightly lower among infants born in July or August compared with other months. The introduction of resident and fellow duty-hour restrictions had no impact on mortality or neurodevelopmental outcome. The only change in short-term morbidity after duty-hour restrictions were introduced was an increase in the risk of ROP (stage 2 or higher).
In this network of academic centers, the timing of birth and the introduction of duty-hour restrictions had little effect on the risks of mortality and morbidity of VLBW infants, suggesting that staffing patterns were adequate to provide consistent care.
Neonatal; preterm infants; morbidity/mortality; resident education/training; workforce
We have shown that vitamin A (VA) and retinoic acid (RA) synergistically increase lung retinyl ester content in neonatal rats. To confirm if this biochemical synergism attenuates early neonatal hyperoxic lung injury in mice, we exposed newborn C57BL/6 mice to 95% O2 or air from birth to 4 days. The agent (vehicle, VA, RA or the combination VARA) was given orally daily. Lung and liver retinyl ester content was measured, and lung injury and development were evaluated. We observed that lung, but not liver, retinyl ester levels were increased more by VARA than by VA or RA alone. Hyperoxic lung injury was reduced by VA and RA, and more so by VARA. VARA attenuated the hyperoxia-induced increases in macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 mRNA and protein expression, but did not alter hyperoxia-induced effects on peptide growth factors (Platelet-derived growth factor [PDGF], vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], and transforming growth factor [TGF]-β1). The 4 day exposure to hyperoxia or retinoids did not lead to observable differences in lung development. We conclude that the VARA combination has synergistic effects on lung retinyl ester concentrations and on the attenuation of hyperoxia-induced lung injury in newborn mice, possibly by modulation of inflammatory mediators.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in term infants. The lung assist device (LAD) is a novel, pumpless, low-resistance extracorporeal oxygenator to supplement mechanical ventilation. The LAD may be associated with fewer complications compared to conventional extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The objective is to test the feasibility and efficacy of the LAD in juvenile piglets with hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension was acutely induced by hypoxia in six 3 – 4 week old acutely instrumented and intubated piglets. The LAD was attached between a carotid artery and jugular vein. Gas exchange and hemodynamic variables including pulmonary arterial pressure and cardiac output were measured. Successful LAD cannulation was achieved without complications in all animals. Extracorporeal shunt flow through the device averaged 18% of cardiac output. The LAD achieved oxygen delivery of 20% of total oxygen consumption. Pulmonary arterial pressure was reduced by 35% from 28±5 to 18±4 mm Hg (p<0.05) and systemic PaO2 increased by 33% from 27±2 to 36±4 mm Hg (p<0.05). Other hemodynamic variables remained stable. The novel LAD shows feasibility and efficacy in improving gas exchange and reducing pulmonary arterial pressures in a juvenile animal model of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
Respiratory failure is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity in newborn infants. The lung assist device (LAD) is a novel gas exchange device that supplements mechanical ventilation. To test the effect of the LAD on pulmonary histopathology in juvenile piglets with acute lung injury caused by saline lung lavage (SLL) followed by intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV). 3–4 week old piglets were randomized to either no intervention (control group), SLL alone (SLL group), SLL + IMV (IMV group), or SLL+IMV+LAD (LAD group) (n=6/group). The carotid artery and jugular vein were cannulated and an arteriovenous circuit completed, and the LAD was inserted into this circuit. Gas exchange via the LAD was initiated by passage of 100% oxygen over the blood-carrying hollow fibers of the LAD. Hemodynamic variables were recorded. Mechanical ventilation was systematically weaned. Lung histology was scored by two observers masked to treatment group. There were no differences in hemodynamic variables between the study groups. There was a significant increase in the total lung injury score in the IMV group compared to the LAD group. The novel pumpless low-resistance LAD has shown feasibility and potential to decrease ventilator-induced lung injury in a juvenile animal model.
As extremely preterm infant mortality rates have decreased, concerns regarding resource utilization have intensified. Accurate models to predict time to hospital discharge could aid in resource planning, family counseling, and perhaps stimulate quality improvement initiatives.
For infants <27 weeks estimated gestational age (EGA), to develop, validate and compare several models to predict time to hospital discharge based on time-dependent covariates, and based on the presence of 5 key risk factors as predictors.
Patients and Methods
This was a retrospective analysis of infants <27 weeks EGA, born 7/2002-12/2005 and surviving to discharge from a NICHD Neonatal Research Network site. Time to discharge was modeled as continuous (postmenstrual age at discharge, PMAD), and categorical variables (“Early” and “Late” discharge). Three linear and logistic regression models with time-dependent covariate inclusion were developed (perinatal factors only, perinatal+early neonatal factors, perinatal+early+later factors). Models for Early and Late discharge using the cumulative presence of 5 key risk factors as predictors were also evaluated. Predictive capabilities were compared using coefficient of determination (R2) for linear models, and AUC of ROC curve for logistic models.
Data from 2254 infants were included. Prediction of PMAD was poor, with only 38% of variation explained by linear models. However, models incorporating later clinical characteristics were more accurate in predicting “Early” or “Late” discharge (full models: AUC 0.76-0.83 vs. perinatal factor models: AUC 0.56-0.69). In simplified key risk factors models, predicted probabilities for Early and Late discharge compared favorably with observed rates. Furthermore, the AUC (0.75-0.77) were similar to those of models including the full factor set.
Prediction of Early or Late discharge is poor if only perinatal factors are considered, but improves substantially with knowledge of later-occurring morbidities. Prediction using a few key risk factors is comparable to full models, and may offer a clinically applicable strategy.
Inflammation mediated by cytokines may be important in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and the competing outcome of death in extremely low birth weight infants.
To develop multi-variable logistic regression models for the outcome of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or death at 36w post-menstrual age using clinical and cytokine data from the first 28 days.
1067 extremely low birth weight infants in the Neonatal Research Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development had 25 cytokines measured from blood collected within 4 h of birth and on days 3, 7, 14, and 21. Stepwise regression using peak values of the 25 cytokines and 15 clinical variables identified variables associated with BPD/death. Multi-variable logistic regression was done for bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death using variables selected by stepwise regression. Similar analyses were also done using average cytokine values from days 0–21, days 0–3, and from days 14–21.
Of 1062 infants with available data, 606 infants developed bronchopulmonary dysplasia or died. Combining results from all models, bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death was associated with higher concentrations of interleukins-1β, -6, -8, -10, and interferon-γ and lower concentrations of interleukin-17, RANTES, and tumor necrosis factor-β. Compared to models with only clinical variables, addition of cytokine data improved predictive ability by a statistically significant but clinically modest magnitude.
The overall pattern of cytokines suggests bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death may be associated with impairment in the transition from the innate immune response mediated by neutrophils to the adaptive immune response mediated by T-lymphocytes.
Logistic models; Infant; premature; Predictive value of tests
To determine the relative contribution of clinical data versus head ultrasound (HUS) in predicting neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.
2103 ELBW infants (<1000g) admitted to a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network center who had a HUS within the first 28 days, a repeat one around 36 weeks’ post-menstrual age, and neurodevelopmental assessment at 18–22 months corrected age were selected. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed using clinical and/or HUS variables. The primary outcome was the predictive abilities of the HUS done before 28 days after birth and closer to 36 weeks post-menstrual age, either alone or in combination with “Early” and “Late” clinical variables.
Models using clinical variables alone predicted NDI better than models with only HUS variables at both 28 days and 36 weeks (both p < 0.001), and addition of the HUS data did not improve prediction. NDI was absent in 30% and 28% of the infants with grade IV intracranial hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia, respectively, but was present in 39% of the infants with a normal head ultrasound.
Clinical models were better than head ultrasound models in predicting neurodevelopment.
Logistic models; Predictive value of tests; ROC curve; Infant; premature; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Leukomalacia; periventricular