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1.  Pharmacokinetics of Moxifloxacin in an Infant with Mycoplasma hominis Meningitis 
Treatment of Mycoplasma hominis meningitis in infants is limited by a lack of consensus regarding therapy and limited pharmacokinetic data for agents to which M. hominis is susceptible. We report the successful treatment of a premature infant with M. hominis meningitis with doxycycline and moxifloxacin and provide a pharmacokinetic profile of moxifloxacin.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e31823980c3
PMCID: PMC3358780  PMID: 22016080
meningitis; moxifloxacin; Mycoplasma hominis; infant; pharmacokinetic
2.  Individual and Center-Level Factors Affecting Mortality Among Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2013;132(1):e175-e184.
OBJECTIVE:
To examine factors affecting center differences in mortality for extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.
METHODS:
We analyzed data for 5418 ELBW infants born at 16 Neonatal Research Network centers during 2006–2009. The primary outcomes of early mortality (≤12 hours after birth) and in-hospital mortality were assessed by using multilevel hierarchical models. Models were developed to investigate associations of center rates of selected interventions with mortality while adjusting for patient-level risk factors. These analyses were performed for all gestational ages (GAs) and separately for GAs <25 weeks and ≥25 weeks.
RESULTS:
Early and in-hospital mortality rates among centers were 5% to 36% and 11% to 53% for all GAs, 13% to 73% and 28% to 90% for GAs <25 weeks, and 1% to 11% and 7% to 26% for GAs ≥25 weeks, respectively. Center intervention rates significantly predicted both early and in-hospital mortality for infants <25 weeks. For infants ≥25 weeks, intervention rates did not predict mortality. The variance in mortality among centers was significant for all GAs and outcomes. Center use of interventions and patient risk factors explained some but not all of the center variation in mortality rates.
CONCLUSIONS:
Center intervention rates explain a portion of the center variation in mortality, especially for infants born at <25 weeks’ GA. This finding suggests that deaths may be prevented by standardizing care for very early GA infants. However, differences in patient characteristics and center intervention rates do not account for all of the observed variability in mortality; and for infants with GA ≥25 weeks these differences account for only a small part of the variation in mortality.
doi:10.1542/peds.2012-3707
PMCID: PMC3691533  PMID: 23753096
mortality rates; outcome; NICU; preterm infants; extremely preterm infants
3.  Use of Antihypotensive Therapies in Extremely Preterm Infants 
Pediatrics  2013;131(6):e1865-e1873.
OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the relationships among blood pressure (BP) values, antihypotensive therapies, and in-hospital outcomes to identify a BP threshold below which antihypotensive therapies may be beneficial.
METHODS:
Prospective observational study of infants 230/7 to 266/7 weeks’ gestational age. Hourly BP values and antihypotensive therapy use in the first 24 hours were recorded. Low BP was investigated by using 15 definitions. Outcomes were examined by using regression analysis controlling for gestational age, the number of low BP values, and illness severity.
RESULTS:
Of 367 infants enrolled, 203 (55%) received at least 1 antihypotensive therapy. Treated infants were more likely to have low BP by any definition (P < .001), but for the 15 definitions of low BP investigated, therapy was not prescribed to 3% to 49% of infants with low BP and, paradoxically, was administered to 28% to 41% of infants without low BP. Treated infants were more likely than untreated infants to develop severe retinopathy of prematurity (15% vs 8%, P = .03) or severe intraventricular hemorrhage (22% vs 11%, P < .01) and less likely to survive (67% vs 78%, P = .02). However, with regression analysis, there were no significant differences between groups in survival or in-hospital morbidity rates.
CONCLUSIONS:
Factors other than BP contributed to the decision to use antihypotensive therapies. Infant outcomes were not improved with antihypotensive therapy for any of the 15 definitions of low BP investigated.
doi:10.1542/peds.2012-2779
PMCID: PMC3666108  PMID: 23650301
extremely preterm infant; antihypotensive therapy; blood pressure; hypotension
4.  Urinary tract infection concordance with positive blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures in the neonatal intensive care unit 
Objective
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures are frequently obtained to evaluate for infection. We sought to determine the concordance between positive urine cultures and blood or CSF cultures.
Study design
Infants <121 days of age with a UTI admitted to 322 NICUs managed by the Pediatrix Medical Group from 1997–2010 were identified. UTIs were defined by isolation of a single pathogenic organism in a urine sample obtained by catheterization or suprapubic tap. The UTI was concordant if the same organism was identified in the blood or CSF within 3 days of the urine culture.
Results
Of 5681 infants with a urine culture, 984 had 1162 UTIs. Nine hundred seventy-six UTIs (84%) had a blood culture collected within 3 days, and 127 (13%) were concordant. Of the 1162 UTIs, 77 (7%) had a CSF culture collected within 3 days, and 2 (3%) were concordant.
Conclusion
Collection of a urine culture in infants evaluated for late-onset sepsis is important. Concordance was observed in 13% of blood cultures and 3% of CSF cultures. These findings may be related to the initiation of empirical antimicrobial therapy before evaluation for disseminated infection or poor blood culture sensitivity.
doi:10.1038/jp.2012.111
PMCID: PMC3549035  PMID: 22935772
infant; sepsis
5.  Group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli Infections in the Intensive Care Nursery in the Era of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis 
Background
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) cause serious bacterial infections (SBIs) and are associated with morbidity and mortality in newborn infants. Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) reduces early-onset SBIs caused by GBS. The effect of IAP on late-onset SBIs caused by these organisms is unknown.
Methods
We examined all blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid culture results from infants admitted from 1997–2010 to 322 neonatal intensive care units managed by the Pediatrix Medical Group. We identified infants with positive cultures for GBS or E. coli and compared the incidence of early- and late-onset SBI for each organism in the time period before (1997–2001) and after (2002–2010) universal IAP recommendations.
Results
We identified 716,407 infants with cultures, 2520 (0.4%) with cultures positive for GBS and 2476 (0.3%) with cultures positive for E. coli. The incidence of GBS early-onset SBI decreased between 1997–2001 and 2002–2010 from 3.5 to 2.6 per 1000 admissions, and the incidence for E. coli early-onset SBI remained stable (1.4 per 1000 admissions in both time periods). Over the same time period, the incidence of GBS late-onset SBI increased from 0.8 to 1.1 per 1000 admissions, and incidence of E. coli late-onset SBI increased from 2.2 to 2.5 per 1000 admissions.
Conclusions
In our cohort, the incidence of early-onset GBS SBI decreased, while the incidence of late-onset SBI for E. coli and GBS increased.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e318275058a
PMCID: PMC3572304  PMID: 23011013
infection; infant; sepsis; group B Streptococcus; Escherichia coli
6.  Systemic inflammation associated with mechanical ventilation among extremely preterm infants 
Cytokine  2012;61(1):315-322.
Little evidence is available to document that mechanical ventilation is an antecedent of systemic inflammation in preterm humans. We obtained blood on postnatal day 14 from 726 infants born before the 28th week of gestation and measured the concentrations of 25 inflammation-related proteins. We created multivariable models to assess the relationship between duration of ventilation and protein concentrations in the top quartile. Compared to newborns ventilated for fewer than 7 days (N=247), those ventilated for 14 days (N=330) were more likely to have elevated blood concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α), chemokines (IL-8, MCP-1), an adhesion molecule (ICAM-1), and a matrix metalloprotease (MMP-9), and less likely to have elevated blood concentrations of two chemokines (RANTES, MIP-1β), a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-1), and a growth factor (VEGF). Newborns ventilated for 7-13 days (N=149) had systemic inflammation that approximated the pattern of newborns ventilated for 14 days. These relationships were not confounded by chorioamnionitis or antenatal corticosteroid exposure, and were not altered appreciably among infants with and without bacteremia. These findings suggest that two weeks of ventilation are more likely than shorter durations of ventilation to be accompanied by high blood concentrations of pro-inflammatory proteins indicative of systemic inflammation, and by low concentrations of proteins that might protect from inflammation-mediated organ injury.
doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2012.10.014
PMCID: PMC3518391  PMID: 23148992
inflammation; ventilation; preterm infant; cytokine; chemokine
7.  Regional Variation in Late Preterm Births in North Carolina 
Objective
Late preterm (LPT) neonates (34 0/7th to 36 6/7th weeks' gestation) account for 70% of all premature births in the United States. LPT neonates have a higher morbidity and mortality risk than term neonates. LPT birth rates vary across geographic regions. Unwarranted variation is variation in medical care that cannot be explained by sociodemographic or medical risk factors; it represents differences in health system performance, including provider practice variation. The purpose of this study is to identify regional variation in LPT births in North Carolina that cannot be explained by sociodemographic or medical/obstetric risk factors.
Methods
We searched the NC State Center for Health Statistics linked birth-death certificate database for all singleton term and LPT neonates born between 1999 and 2006. We used multivariable logistic regression analysis to control for socio-demographic and medical/obstetric risk factors. The main outcome was the percent of late preterm birth in each of the six perinatal regions in North Carolina.
Results
We identified 884,304 neonates; 66,218 (7.5%) were LPT. After multivariable logistic regression, regions 2 (7.0%) and 6 (6.6%) had the highest adjusted percent of LPT birth.
Conclusions
Analysis of a statewide birth cohort demonstrates regional variation in the incidence of LPT births among NC's perinatal regions after adjustment for sociodemographic and medical risk factors. We speculate that provider practice variation might explain some of the remaining difference. This is an area where policy changes and quality improvement efforts can help reduce variation, and potentially decrease LPT births.
doi:10.1007/s10995-012-0945-7
PMCID: PMC3725330  PMID: 22350629
late preterm; preterm birth; unwarranted variation; practice variation
8.  Clinical prediction models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a systematic review and external validation study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:207.
Background
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common complication of preterm birth. Very different models using clinical parameters at an early postnatal age to predict BPD have been developed with little extensive quantitative validation. The objective of this study is to review and validate clinical prediction models for BPD.
Methods
We searched the main electronic databases and abstracts from annual meetings. The STROBE instrument was used to assess the methodological quality. External validation of the retrieved models was performed using an individual patient dataset of 3229 patients at risk for BPD. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess discrimination for each model by calculating the area under the curve (AUC). Calibration was assessed for the best discriminating models by visually comparing predicted and observed BPD probabilities.
Results
We identified 26 clinical prediction models for BPD. Although the STROBE instrument judged the quality from moderate to excellent, only four models utilised external validation and none presented calibration of the predictive value. For 19 prediction models with variables matched to our dataset, the AUCs ranged from 0.50 to 0.76 for the outcome BPD. Only two of the five best discriminating models showed good calibration.
Conclusions
External validation demonstrates that, except for two promising models, most existing clinical prediction models are poor to moderate predictors for BPD. To improve the predictive accuracy and identify preterm infants for future intervention studies aiming to reduce the risk of BPD, additional variables are required. Subsequently, that model should be externally validated using a proper impact analysis before its clinical implementation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-207
PMCID: PMC3878731  PMID: 24345305
Prediction rules; Prognostic models; Calibration; Discrimination; Preterm infants; Chronic lung disease
10.  Feasibility Study of Early Blood Pressure Management in Extremely Preterm Infants 
The Journal of Pediatrics  2012;161(1):65-69.e1.
Objective
To assess the feasibility of a randomized placebo controlled trial (RCT) of blood pressure (BP) management for extremely preterm infants.
Study design
This was a prospective pilot RCT of infants 230/7 – 266/7 weeks gestation who had protocol-defined low BP in the first 24 postnatal hours. Enrolled infants were administered a study infusion (dopamine or placebo) and a study syringe medication (hydrocortisone or placebo).
Results
Of the 366 infants screened, 119 (33%) had low BP, 58 (16%) met all entry criteria, and 10 (3%) were enrolled. 161 (44%) infants were ineligible because they received early indomethacin. Only 17% of eligible infants were enrolled. Problems with consent included insufficient time, parent unavailability, and physician unwillingness to enroll critically ill infants. Two infants were withdrawn from the study due to the potential risk of intestinal perforation with simultaneous administration of hydrocortisone and indomethacin.
Conclusions
This pilot RCT was not feasible due to low eligibility and consent rates. An RCT of BP management for extremely preterm infants may require a waiver of consent for research in emergency care. The frequent use of early indomethacin and the associated risk of intestinal perforation when used with hydrocortisone may limit future investigations to only inotropic medications.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.01.014
PMCID: PMC3357442  PMID: 22336574
Extremely preterm infant; hypotension; hydrocortisone; dopamine; informed consent
11.  Patent ductus arteriosus: lack of evidence for common treatments 
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a common diagnosis among extremely premature infants, especially in those with lung disease. Treatments are often used to close the PDA. Despite nearly three decades of research, the question of whether the benefits of treatments to prevent ductal patency or promote closure outweigh the risks of these treatments remains unanswered. The authors rarely use treatments designed to close the PDA. This article reviews three considerations in support of this restrained approach: rates of spontaneous closure of the ductus arteriosus; adverse effect of persistent ductal patency; and benefits and risks of treatments for closure.
doi:10.1136/adc.2005.092734
PMCID: PMC2675405  PMID: 17951552
patent ductus arteriosus; indomethacin; ibuprofen; ductal ligation
12.  Innovative clinical trial design for pediatric therapeutics 
Until approximately 15 years ago, sponsors rarely included children in the development of therapeutics. US and European legislation has resulted in an increase in the number of pediatric trials and specific label changes and dosing recommendations, although infants remain an understudied group. The lack of clinical trials in children is partly due to specific challenges in conducting trials in this patient population. Therapeutics in special populations, including premature infants, obese children and children receiving extracorporeal life support, are even less studied. National research networks in Europe and the USA are beginning to address some of the gaps in pediatric therapeutics using novel clinical trial designs. Recent innovations in pediatric clinical trial design, including sparse and scavenged sampling, population pharmacokinetic analyses and ‘opportunistic’ studies, have addressed some of the historical challenges associated with clinical trials in children.
doi:10.1586/ecp.11.43
PMCID: PMC3184526  PMID: 21980319
clinical trial simulation; opportunistic study; pediatrics; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; pharmacometrics; therapeutics
13.  Prediction of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia by Postnatal Age in Extremely Premature Infants 
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.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201101-0055OC
PMCID: PMC3136997  PMID: 21471086
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; low-birth-weight infant
14.  Early postnatal hypotension is not associated with indicators of white matter damage or cerebral palsy in extremely low gestational age newborns 
Objectives
To evaluate, in extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs), relationships between indicators of early postnatal hypotension and cranial ultrasound indicators of cerebral white matter damage imaged in the nursery and cerebral palsy diagnoses at 24 month follow-up.
Methods
The 1041 infants in this prospective study were born at < 28 weeks gestation, were assessed for 3 indicators of hypotension in the first 24 postnatal hours, had at least one set of protocol cranial ultrasound scans, and were evaluated with a structured neurologic exam at 24 months corrected age. Indicators of hypotension included: 1) lowest mean arterial pressure (MAP) in the lowest quartile for gestational age; 2) treatment with a vasopressor; and 3) blood pressure lability, defined as the upper quartile of the difference between each infant’s lowest and highest MAP. Outcomes included indicators of cerebral white matter damage, i.e. moderate/severe ventriculomegaly or an echolucent lesion on cranial ultrasound, and cerebral palsy diagnoses at 24 months gestation. Logistic regression was used to evaluate relationships among hypotension indicators and outcomes, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results
Twenty-one percent of surviving infants had a lowest blood pressure in the lowest quartile for gestational age, 24% were treated with vasopressors, and 24% had labile blood pressure. Among infants with these hypotension indicators, 10% percent developed ventriculomegaly and 7% developed an echolucent lesion. At 24-months follow-up, 6% had developed quadriparesis, 4% diparesis, and 2% hemiparesis. After adjusting for confounders, we found no association between indicators of hypotension, and indicators of cerebral white matter damage or a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
Conclusions
The absence of an association between indicators of hypotension and cerebral white matter damage and or cerebral palsy suggests that early hypotension may not be important in the pathogenesis of brain injury in ELGANs.
doi:10.1038/jp.2010.201
PMCID: PMC3145830  PMID: 21273984
hypotension; mean arterial blood pressure; cranial ultrasound; ventriculomegaly; echolucent lesion; cerebral palsy; extremely preterm infants
15.  Development of a proxy-reported pulmonary outcome scale for preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia 
Background
To develop an accurate, proxy-reported bedside measurement tool for assessment of the severity of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (also called chronic lung disease) in preterm infants to supplement providers' current biometric measurements of the disease.
Methods
We adapted Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) methodology to develop the Proxy-Reported Pulmonary Outcomes Scale (PRPOS). A multidisciplinary group of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, neonatologists, developmental specialists, and feeding specialists at five academic medical centers participated in the PRPOS development, which included five phases: (1) identification of domains, items, and responses; (2) item classification and selection using a modified Delphi process; (3) focus group exploration of items and response options; (4) cognitive interviews on a preliminary scale; and (5) final revision before field testing.
Results
Each phase of the process helped us to identify, classify, review, and revise possible domains, questions, and response options. The final items for field testing include 26 questions or observations that a nurse assesses before, during, and after routine care time and feeding.
Conclusions
We successfully created a prototype scale using modified PROMIS methodology. This process can serve as a model for the development of proxy-reported outcomes scales in other pediatric populations.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-9-55
PMCID: PMC3161834  PMID: 21791099
16.  Prevention of chronic lung disease 
Considerable effort has been devoted to the development of strategies to reduce the incidence of chronic lung disease, including use of medications, nutritional therapies, and respiratory care practices. Unfortunately, most of these strategies have not been successful. To date, the only two treatments developed specifically to prevent CLD whose efficacy is supported by evidence from randomized, controlled trials are the parenteral administration of vitamin A and corticosteroids. Two other therapies, the use of caffeine for the treatment of apnea of prematurity and aggressive phototherapy for the treatment of hyperbilirubinemia were evaluated for the improvement of other outcomes and found to reduce CLD. Cohort studies suggest that the use of CPAP as a strategy for avoiding mechanical ventilation might also be beneficial. Other therapies reduce lung injury in animal models but do not appear to reduce CLD in humans. The benefits of the efficacious therapies have been modest, with an absolute risk reduction in the 7–11% range. Further preventive strategies are needed to reduce the burden of this disease. However, each will need to be tested in randomized, controlled trials, and the expectations of new therapies should be modest reductions of the incidence of the disease.
doi:10.1016/j.siny.2009.08.002
PMCID: PMC3049163  PMID: 19736053
chronic lung disease; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prevention; prophylaxis; vitamin A; corticosteroids; caffeine

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