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1.  Executive Summary of the Workshop “Nutritional Challenges in the High Risk Infant” 
The Journal of pediatrics  2012;160(3):511-516.
In 2009, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invited an expert panel to a workshop to address the current knowledge gaps and lack of evidence-based guidelines that preclude optimal nutritional care for infants in neonatal intensive care units. Since much research needs to be done in this complex area of science, the group was requested to propose new research to rectify current deficiencies in this field. This paper provides a summary of the workshop presentations and discussions.
PMCID: PMC4530452  PMID: 22240111
prematurity; preterm infants; intensive care; infant; nutrition
2.  Surgery and Neurodevelopmental Outcome of Very Low Birth Weight Infants 
JAMA pediatrics  2014;168(8):746-754.
Reduced death and neurodevelopmental impairment among infants is a goal of perinatal medicine.
To assess the association between surgery during the initial hospitalization and death or neurodevelopmental impairment of very low birth weight infants.
Retrospective cohort analysis of patients enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network Generic Database from 1998–2009 and evaluated at 18–22 months’ corrected age.
22 academic neonatal intensive care units.
Inclusion criteria were: birth weight 401–1500 g; survival to 12 hours; available for follow-up. Some conditions were excluded. 12 111 infants were included in analyses, 87% of those eligible.
Surgical procedures; surgery also classified by expected anesthesia type as major (general anesthesia) or minor surgery (non-general anesthesia).
Multivariable logistic regression analyses planned a priori were performed for the primary outcome of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and for the secondary outcome of neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed as planned for the adjusted means of Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition, Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Developmental Index for patients born before 2006.
There were 2186 major, 784 minor and 9141 no surgery patients. The risk-adjusted odds ratio of death or neurodevelopmental impairment for all surgery patients compared with those who had no surgery was 1.29 (95% confidence interval 1.08–1.55). For patients who had major surgery compared with those who had no surgery the risk-adjusted odds ratio of death or neurodevelopmental impairment was 1.52 (95% confidence interval 1.24–1.87). Patients classified as having minor surgery had no increased adjusted risk. Among survivors who had major surgery compared with those who had no surgery the adjusted odds ratio for neurodevelopmental impairment was 1.56 (95% confidence interval 1.26–1.93) and the adjusted mean Mental Developmental Index and mean Psychomotor Developmental Index values were lower.
Major surgery in very low birth weight infants is independently associated with a greater than 50% increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and of neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months’ corrected age. The role of general anesthesia is implicated but remains unproven.
PMCID: PMC4142429  PMID: 24934607
3.  Executive Summary of the Workshop on Infection in the High Risk Infant 
For newborn infants in intensive care units, the morbidity and mortality from infection continues to be a major burden despite advances in neonatal care. Infants are at risk for early onset, late onset, as well as hospital acquired infections. Research studies are needed to optimize timely diagnosis and treatment, and develop patient-specific and system-wide strategies to prevent perinatal and neonatal infections. To address the knowledge gaps that preclude optimal, evidence-based care in this critical field, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) organized a workshop in August 2008. In this paper we provide a summary of the discussions, focusing on major knowledge gaps, and prioritized suggestions for research in this area.
PMCID: PMC3038782  PMID: 20072133
infant; infection; newborn; sepsis
4.  Early blood pressure, anti-hypotensive therapy and outcomes at 18 to 22 month corrected age in extremely preterm infants 
Investigate relationships between early blood pressure (BP) changes, receipt of anti-hypotensive therapy, and 18 – 22 month corrected age (CA) outcomes for extremely preterm infants.
Prospective observational study of infants 230/7 – 266/7 weeks gestational age (GA). Hourly BP values and anti-hypotensive therapy exposure in the first 24 hours were recorded. Four groups were defined: infants who did or did not receive anti-hypotensive therapy in whom BP did or did not rise at the expected rate (defined as an increase in the mean arterial BP of ≥5 mmHg/day). Random-intercept logistic modeling controlling for center clustering, GA, and illness severity was used to investigate the relationship between BP, anti-hypotensive therapies, and infant outcomes.
Sixteen academic centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.
Main Outcome Measures
Death or neurodevelopmental impairment / developmental delay (NIDD) at 18 – 22 months CA.
Of 367 infants, 203 (55%) received an anti-hypotensive therapy, 272 (74%) survived to discharge, and 331 (90%) had a known outcome at 18 – 22 months CA. With logistic regression, there was an increased risk of death/NIDD with anti-hypotensive therapy versus no treatment (odds ratio: 1.836, 95% confidence interval: 1.092 – 3.086), but not NIDD alone (odds ratio: 1.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.708 – 3.307).
Independent of early BP changes, anti-hypotensive therapy exposure was associated with an increased risk of death/NIDD at 18 to 22 months CA when controlling for risk factors known to affect survival and neurodevelopment.
PMCID: PMC4849123  PMID: 26567120
Extremely preterm infant; blood pressure; neurodevelopment; hypotension
5.  Optimum oxygen therapy to prevent retinopathy of prematurity 
Expert review of ophthalmology  2010;5(5):583-585.
PMCID: PMC4155506  PMID: 25197316
blindness; developmental disabilities; hyperoxia; oxygen inhalation therapy; retinopathy of prematurity
6.  Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants with Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation or Surgical Necrotizing Enterocolitis 
To determine if extremely low birth weight infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis have a higher risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors (secondary outcome) at 18–22 months corrected age compared to infants with spontaneous intestinal perforation and infants without necrotizing enterocolitis or spontaneous intestinal perforation.
Study Design
Retrospective analysis of the Neonatal Research Network very low birth weight registry, evaluating extremely low birth weight infants born between 2000–2005. The study infants were designated into 3 groups: 1) Spontaneous intestinal perforation without necrotizing enterocolitis; 2) Surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (Bell's stage III); and 3) Neither spontaneous intestinal perforation nor necrotizing enterocolitis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between the clinical group and death or neurodevelopmental impairment, controlling for multiple confounding factors including center.
Infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis had the highest rate of death prior to hospital discharge (53.5%) and death or neurodevelopmental impairment (82.3%) compared to infants in the spontaneous intestinal perforation group (39.1% and 79.3%) and no necrotizing enterocolitis/no spontaneous intestinal perforation group (22.1% and 53.3%; p<0.001). Similar results were observed for neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors. On logistic regression analysis, both spontaneous intestinal perforation and surgical necrotizing enterocolitis were associated with increased risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (adjusted OR 2.21, 95% CI: 1.5, 3.2 and adjusted OR 2.11, 95% CI: 1.5, 2.9 respectively) and neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors (adjusted OR 2.17, 95% CI: 1.4, 3.2 and adjusted OR 1.70, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.4 respectively).
Spontaneous intestinal perforation and surgical necrotizing enterocolitis are associated with a similar increase in the risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment and neurodevelopmental impairment among extremely low birth weight survivors at 18–22 months corrected age.
PMCID: PMC3877158  PMID: 24135709
spontaneous intestinal perforation; necrotizing enterocolitis; extremely low birth weight; neurodevelopmental impairment
7.  Trends in Care Practices, Morbidity, and Mortality of Extremely Preterm Neonates, 1993–2012 
JAMA  2015;314(10):1039-1051.
Extremely preterm infants contribute disproportionately to neonatal morbidity and mortality.
To review 20-year trends in maternal/neonatal care, complications, and mortality among extremely preterm infants born at Neonatal Research Network centers.
Design, Setting, Participants
Prospective registry of 34,636 infants 22–28 weeks’ gestational age (GA) and 401–1500 gram birthweight born at 26 Network centers, 1993–2012.
Extremely preterm birth.
Main Outcomes
Maternal/neonatal care, morbidities, and survival. Major morbidities, reported for infants who survived more than 12 hours, were: severe necrotizing enterocolitis, infection, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, severe intracranial hemorrhage, cystic periventricular leukomalacia, and/or severe retinopathy of prematurity. Regression models assessed yearly changes, adjusting for study center, race/ethnicity, GA, birthweight for GA, and sex.
Use of antenatal corticosteroids increased from 1993 to 2012 (348/1431 [24%] to 1674/1919 [87%], p<0.001), as did cesarean delivery (625/1431 [44%] to 1227/1921 [64%], p<0.001). Delivery room intubation decreased from 1144/1433 (80%) in 1993 to 1253/1922 (65%) in 2012 (p<0.001). After increasing in the 1990s, postnatal steroid use declined to 141/1757 (8%) in 2004 (p<0.001), with no significant change thereafter. Although most infants were ventilated, continuous positive airway pressure without ventilation increased from 120/1666 (7%) in 2002 to 190/1756 (11%) in 2012 (p<0.001). Despite no improvement from 1993 to 2004, rates of late-onset sepsis declined between 2005 and 2012 for infants of each GA (median GA 26 weeks, 109/296 [37%] to 85/320 [27%], adjusted relative risk [aRR]: 0.93 [95% CI, 0.92–0.94]). Rates of other morbidities declined, but bronchopulmonary dysplasia increased between 2009 and 2012 for infants 26–27 weeks (26 weeks, 130/258 [50%] to 164/297 [55%], p<0.001). Survival increased between 2009 and 2012 for infants 23 weeks (41/152 [27%] to 50/150 [33%], aRR: 1.09 [95% CI, 1.05–1.14]) and 24 weeks (156/248 [63%] to 174/269 [65%], aRR: 1.05 [95% CI, 1.03–1.07]), with smaller relative increases for infants 25 and 27 weeks and no change for infants 22, 26 and 28 weeks. Survival without major morbidity increased approximately 2% per year for infants 25–28 weeks with no change for infants 22–24 weeks.
Conclusions and Relevance
Among extremely preterm infants born at US academic centers over the last 20 years, changes in maternal and infant care practices and modest reductions in several morbidities were observed, although bronchopulmonary dysplasia increased. Survival increased most markedly for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks and survival without major morbidity increased for infants 25–28 weeks. These findings may be valuable in counselling families and developing novel interventions.
PMCID: PMC4787615  PMID: 26348753
8.  Cognitive Outcomes After Neonatal Encephalopathy 
Pediatrics  2015;135(3):e624-e634.
To describe the spectrum of cognitive outcomes of children with and without cerebral palsy (CP) after neonatal encephalopathy, evaluate the prognostic value of early developmental testing and report on school services and additional therapies.
The participants of this study are the school-aged survivors of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network randomized controlled trial of whole-body hypothermia. Children underwent neurologic examinations and neurodevelopmental and cognitive testing with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development–II at 18 to 22 months and the Wechsler intelligence scales and the Neuropsychological Assessment–Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment at 6 to 7 years. Parents were interviewed about functional status and receipt of school and support services. We explored predictors of cognitive outcome by using multiple regression models.
Subnormal IQ scores were identified in more than a quarter of the children: 96% of survivors with CP had an IQ <70, 9% of children without CP had an IQ <70, and 31% had an IQ of 70 to 84. Children with a mental developmental index <70 at 18 months had, on average, an adjusted IQ at 6 to 7 years that was 42 points lower than that of those with a mental developmental index >84 (95% confidence interval, −49.3 to −35.0; P < .001). Twenty percent of children with normal IQ and 28% of those with IQ scores of 70 to 84 received special educational support services or were held back ≥1 grade level.
Cognitive impairment remains an important concern for all children with neonatal encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC4338321  PMID: 25713280
neonatal encephalopathy; cognitive outcomes; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
9.  Integrated Genomic Analyses in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
The Journal of pediatrics  2014;166(3):531-537.e13.
To identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and pathways associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) because O2 requirement at 36 weeks’ post-menstrual age risk is strongly influenced by heritable factors.
Study design
A genome-wide scan was conducted on 1.2 million genotyped SNPs, and an additional 7 million imputed SNPs, using a DNA repository of extremely low birth weight infants. Genome-wide association and gene set analysis was performed for BPD or death, severe BPD or death, and severe BPD in survivors. Specific targets were validated using gene expression in BPD lung tissue and in mouse models.
Of 751 infants analyzed, 428 developed BPD or died. No SNPs achieved genome-wide significance (p<10−8) although multiple SNPs in adenosine deaminase (ADARB2), CD44, and other genes were just below p<10−6. Of approximately 8000 pathways, 75 were significant at False Discovery Rate (FDR) <0.1 and p<0.001 for BPD/death, 95 for severe BPD/death, and 90 for severe BPD in survivors. The pathway with lowest FDR was miR-219 targets (p=1.41E-08, FDR 9.5E-05) for BPD/death and Phosphorous Oxygen Lyase Activity (includes adenylate and guanylate cyclases) for both severe BPD/death (p=5.68E-08, FDR 0.00019) and severe BPD in survivors (p=3.91E-08, FDR 0.00013). Gene expression analysis confirmed significantly increased miR-219 and CD44 in BPD.
Pathway analyses confirmed involvement of known pathways of lung development and repair (CD44, Phosphorus Oxygen Lyase Activity) and indicated novel molecules and pathways (ADARB2, Targets of miR-219) involved in genetic predisposition to BPD.
PMCID: PMC4344889  PMID: 25449221
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Infant; premature; Infant mortality; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
10.  PaCO2 in Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomized Trial (SUPPORT) 
To determine the association of PaCO2 with severe intraventricular hemorrhage (sIVH), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) at 18–22 months in premature infants.
Secondary exploratory data analysis of SUPPORT.
Multiple referral NICUs.
1316 infants 24 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks gestation randomized to different oxygenation (SpO2 target 85–89% vs 91–95%) and ventilation strategies.
Main Outcome Measures
Blood gases from postnatal days 0–14 were analyzed. Five PaCO2 variables were defined: minimum [Min], maximum [Max], standard deviation, average (time-weighted), and a 4 level categorical variable (hypercapnic [highest quartile of Max PaCO2], hypocapnic [lowest quartile of Min PaCO2], fluctuators [both hypercapnia and hypocapnia], and normocapnic [middle two quartiles of Max and Min PaCO2]). PaCO2 variables were compared for infants with and without sIVH, BPD, and NDI (+/− death). Multivariable logistic regression models were developed for adjusted results.
sIVH, BPD, and NDI (+/− death) were associated with hypercapnic infants and fluctuators. Association of Max PaCO2 and outcomes persisted after adjustment (Per 10 mmHg increase: sIVH/death: OR 1.27 [1.13–1.41]; BPD/death: OR 1.27 [1.12–1.44]; NDI/death: OR 1.23 [1.10–1.38], Death: OR 1.27 [1.12–1.44], all p <0.001). No interaction was found between PaCO2 category and SpO2 treatment group for sIVH/death, NDI/death, or death. Max PaCO2 was positively correlated with maximum FiO2 (rs0.55, p<0.0001) & ventilator days (rs0.61, p<0.0001).
Higher PaCO2 was an independent predictor of sIVH/death, BPD/death, and NDI/death. Further trials are needed to evaluate optimal PaCO2 targets for high risk infants.
PMCID: PMC4336211  PMID: 25425651
Infant; premature; Infant mortality; Infant; Premature; Diseases/epidemiology; Predictive value of tests; Prognosis; Intracranial hemorrhage; Blood Gas Analysis
11.  Blood stream infection is associated with altered heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine immune responses in very low birth weight infants 
Sepsis in older children and adults modifies immune system function. We compared serotype-specific antibody responses to heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in very low birth weight infants (<1500g,VLBW) with and without blood stream infection (BSI) during their birth hospitalization.
Patients and Methods
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data for the Neonatal Research Network study of PCV7 responses among VLBWs. Infants received PCV7 at 2, 4, and 6 months after birth with blood drawn 4–6 weeks after 3rd dose. Serotype antibodies were compared between infants with or without a history of BSI. Regression models were constructed with birth-weight groups and other confounding factors identified in the primary study.
244 infants completed the vaccine series and had serum antibody available; 82 had BSI. After adjustment, BSI was not associated with reduced odds of serum antibody ≥0.35μg/mL.
BSI was not associated with reduced odds of WHO-defined protective PCV7 responses in VLBWs.
PMCID: PMC3722279  PMID: 23370608
VLBW; immune response; vaccine; sepsis; blood stream infection
12.  Cytokines and Post-hemorrhagic Ventricular Dilation in Premature Infants 
American journal of perinatology  2012;29(9):731-740.
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.
Study design
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.
PMCID: PMC3619127  PMID: 22773292
Infant; premature; Cytokines; Hydrocephalus; Intraventricular hemorrhage; Intracranial hemorrhage
13.  Brain injury following trial of hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy 
The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between brain injury and outcome following neonatal hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia.
Design and patients
Neonatal MRI scans were evaluated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) randomised controlled trial of whole-body hypothermia and each infant was categorised based upon the pattern of brain injury on the MRI findings. Brain injury patterns were assessed as a marker of death or disability at 18–22 months of age.
Scans were obtained on 136 of 208 trial participants (65%); 73 in the hypothermia and 63 in the control group. Normal scans were noted in 38 of 73 infants (52%) in the hypothermia group and 22 of 63 infants (35%) in the control group. Infants in the hypothermia group had fewer areas of infarction (12%) compared to infants in the control group (22%). Fifty-one of the 136 infants died or had moderate or severe disability at 18 months. The brain injury pattern correlated with outcome of death or disability and with disability among survivors. Each point increase in the severity of the pattern of brain injury was independently associated with a twofold increase in the odds of death or disability.
Fewer areas of infarction and a trend towards more normal scans were noted in brain MRI following whole-body hypothermia. Presence of the NICHD pattern of brain injury is a marker of death or moderate or severe disability at 18–22 months following hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3722585  PMID: 23080477
14.  Neonatal Magnetic Resonance Imaging Pattern of Brain Injury as a Biomarker of Childhood Outcomes following a Trial of Hypothermia for Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 
The Journal of pediatrics  2015;167(5):987-993.e3.
To examine the ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) patterns of neonatal brain injury defined by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network to predict death or IQ at 6–7 years of age following hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy.
Study design
Out of 208 participants, 124 had MRI and primary outcome (death or IQ <70) data. The relationship between injury pattern and outcome was assessed.
Death or IQ <70 occurred in 4 of 50 (8%) of children with pattern 0 (normal MRI), 1 of 6 (17%) with 1A (minimal cerebral lesions), 1 of 4 (25%) with 1B (extensive cerebral lesions), 3 of 8 (38%) with 2A (basal ganglia thalamic, anterior or posterior limb of internal capsule, or watershed infarction), 32 of 49 (65%) with 2B (2A with cerebral lesions), and 7 of 7 (100%) with pattern 3 (hemispheric devastation), P < .001; this association was also seen within hypothermia and control subgroups. IQ was 90 ± 13 among the 46 children with a normal MRI and 69 ± 25 among the 50 children with an abnormal MRI. In childhood, for a normal outcome, a normal neonatal MRI had a sensitivity of 61%, specificity of 92%, a positive predictive value of 92%, and a negative predictive value of 59%; for death or IQ <70, the 2B and 3 pattern combined had a sensitivity of 81%, specificity of 78%, positive predictive value of 70%, and a negative predictive value of 87%.
The Neonatal Research Network MRI pattern of neonatal brain injury is a biomarker of neurodevelopmental outcome at 6–7 years of age.
PMCID: PMC4700815  PMID: 26387012
15.  Phenobarbital and temperature profile during hypothermia for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy 
Journal of child neurology  2011;27(4):451-457.
Data from the whole body hypothermia trial was analyzed to examine the effects of phenobarbital administration prior to cooling (+PB) on the esophageal temperature (Te) profile, during the induction phase of hypothermia. A total of 98 infants were analyzed. At enrollment, +PB infants had a higher rate of severe HIE and clinical seizures and lower Te and cord pH than infants that have not received PB (−PB). There was a significant effect of PB itself and an interaction between PB and time in the Te profile. Mean Te in the +PB group was lower than in the −PB group and the differences decreased over time. In +PB infants the time to surpass target Te of 33.5°C and to reach the minimum Te during overshoot were shorter. In conclusion, the administration of PB prior to cooling was associated with changes that may reflect a reduced thermogenic response associated with barbiturates.
PMCID: PMC3530920  PMID: 21960671
phenobarbital; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; hypothermia; temperature control
16.  Neuroimaging and Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Extremely Preterm Infants 
Pediatrics  2015;135(1):e32-e42.
Extremely preterm infants are at risk for neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI). Early cranial ultrasound (CUS) is usual practice, but near-term brain MRI has been reported to better predict outcomes. We prospectively evaluated MRI white matter abnormality (WMA) and cerebellar lesions, and serial CUS adverse findings as predictors of outcomes at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age.
Early and late CUS, and brain MRI were read by masked central readers, in a large cohort (n = 480) of infants <28 weeks’ gestation surviving to near term in the Neonatal Research Network. Outcomes included NDI or death after neuroimaging, and significant gross motor impairment or death, with NDI defined as cognitive composite score <70, significant gross motor impairment, and severe hearing or visual impairment. Multivariable models evaluated the relative predictive value of neuroimaging while controlling for other factors.
Of 480 infants, 15 died and 20 were lost. Increasing severity of WMA and significant cerebellar lesions on MRI were associated with adverse outcomes. Cerebellar lesions were rarely identified by CUS. In full multivariable models, both late CUS and MRI, but not early CUS, remained independently associated with NDI or death (MRI cerebellar lesions: odds ratio, 3.0 [95% confidence interval: 1.3–6.8]; late CUS: odds ratio, 9.8 [95% confidence interval: 2.8–35]), and significant gross motor impairment or death. In models that did not include late CUS, MRI moderate-severe WMA was independently associated with adverse outcomes.
Both late CUS and near-term MRI abnormalities were associated with outcomes, independent of early CUS and other factors, underscoring the relative prognostic value of near-term neuroimaging.
PMCID: PMC4279063  PMID: 25554820
MRI; neurodevelopmental; neuroimaging; preterm infant; ultrasound
17.  Antenatal Magnesium Sulfate Exposure and Acute Cardiorespiratory Events in Preterm Infants 
Antenatal magnesium (anteMg) is used for tocolysis, pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and neuroprotection for preterm birth. Infants exposed to anteMg are at risk for respiratory depression and resuscitation in the delivery room (DR). The study objective was to compare the risk of acute cardio-respiratory (CR) events among preterm infants exposed to anteMg and those unexposed (noMg).
Study Design
This was a retrospective analysis of prospective data collected in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network's Generic Database from 4/1/11 to 3/31/12. The primary outcome was DR intubation or mechanical ventilation (MV) at birth or on day 1 of life. Secondary outcomes were endotracheal MV (eMV), hypotension and other neonatal morbidities and mortality. Logistic regression analysis evaluated the risk of primary outcomes after adjustment for gestational age (GA), center, antenatal steroids (ANS) and PIH/eclampsia.
We evaluated 1,544 infants <29 weeks GA (1,091 in anteMg group and 453 in noMg group). Mothers in the anteMg group were more likely to have higher education, PIH/eclampsia and ANS; while their infants were younger in gestation and weighed less (P<0.05). The primary outcome, mortality and neonatal morbidities were similar between groups; while eMV and hypotension were significantly less among the anteMg group compared to the noMg group. AnteMg exposure was significantly associated with decreased risk of hypotension on day 1 of life and eMV on day 3 of life in the regression analysis.
Preterm infants <29 weeks GA who were exposed to anteMg did not suffer worse CR outcomes compared to those without exposure.
PMCID: PMC4275326  PMID: 25046806
antenatal magnesium; nasal CPAP; neonatal resuscitation; preterm infants
19.  Definitions of cardiovascular insufficiency and relation to outcomes in critically ill newborn infants 
American journal of perinatology  2015;32(11):1024-1030.
We previously reported on the overall incidence, management and outcomes in infants with cardiovascular insufficiency (CVI). However, there are limited data on the relationship of the specific different definitions of CVI to short term outcomes in term and late preterm newborn infants.
To evaluate how 4 definitions of CVI relate to short term outcomes and death.
Study Design
The previously reported study was a multicenter, prospective cohort study of 647 infants ≥ 34 weeks gestation admitted to a Neonatal Research Network (NRN) newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and mechanically ventilated (MV) during their first 72 hours. The relationship of five short term outcomes at discharge and 4 different definitions of CVI were further analyzed.
All 4 definitions were associated with greater number of days on MV & days on O2. The definition using a threshold blood pressure (BP) measurement alone was not associated with days to full feeding, days in the NICU or death. The definition based on treatment of CVI was associated with all outcomes including death.
The definition using a threshold BP alone was not consistently associated with adverse short term outcomes. Using only a threshold BP to determine therapy may not improve outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4689139  PMID: 25825962
blood pressure; cardiovascular insufficiency; outcomes; newborn; infant
20.  Patient Safety in the Context of Neonatal Intensive Care: Research and Educational Opportunities 
Pediatric research  2011;70(1):109-115.
Case reports and observational studies continue to report adverse events from medical errors. However, despite considerable attention to patient safety in the popular media, this topic is not a regular component of medical education, and much research needs to be carried out to understand the causes, consequences, and prevention of healthcare-related adverse events during neonatal intensive care. To address the knowledge gaps and to formulate a research and educational agenda in neonatology, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invited a panel of experts to a workshop in August 2010. Patient safety issues discussed were: the reasons for errors, including systems design, working conditions, and worker fatigue; a need to develop a “culture” of patient safety; the role of electronic medical records, information technology, and simulators in reducing errors; error disclosure practices; medico-legal concerns; and educational needs. Specific neonatology-related topics discussed were: errors during resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, and performance of invasive procedures; medication errors including those associated with milk feedings; diagnostic errors; and misidentification of patients. This article provides an executive summary of the workshop.
PMCID: PMC3454497  PMID: 21386749
21.  Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Small-for-Gestational-Age Status: Effects on Growth at 6 Years of age 
Neurotoxicology and teratology  2011;33(5):575-581.
To evaluate the impact of prenatal cocaine exposure and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) status on childhood growth.
Cocaine exposure was defined by history or meconium metabolites. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine cocaine exposure and SGA status on growth, while controlling for exposure to other drugs and alcohol use.
At birth cocaine-exposed infants (n=364) had significantly lower growth parameters compared to non-exposed children (n=771). At 6 years, weight was similar between exposed and unexposed children. SGA infants continued to be growth impaired. There was a significant interaction between prenatal cocaine exposure and SGA status at 6 years. The negative effects of cocaine on weight and height were greater among non-SGA than SGA children (432 vs. 280 gm, and 0.7 and 0.5 cm, respectively) while negative effects of SGA status on weight and height were larger in non-cocaine exposed compared to the exposed children (2.3 kg vs.1.6 kg and 2.2 and 1.0 cm).
Children exposed to prenatal cocaine were similar in weight to non-exposed children at 6 years of age. Cocaine had an unexplained greater detrimental effect on non-SGA than SGA children. SGA status at birth has an independent detrimental effect on childhood growth.
PMCID: PMC3183411  PMID: 21849244
Prenatal cocaine exposure; small for gestational age; childhood growth
22.  Assessment of Safety in Newborns of Mothers Participating in Clinical Trials of Vaccines Administered During Pregnancy 
A panel of experts convened by the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, developed proposed guidelines for the evaluation of adverse events in newborns of women participating in clinical trials of maternal immunization in the United States.
PMCID: PMC4303057  PMID: 25425720
maternal immunization; safety; pregnancy; vaccines; clinical trials
23.  Temperature Control During Therapeutic Hypothermia for Newborn Encephalopathy Using Different Blanketrol Devices 
Therapeutic hypothermia improves the survival and neurodevelopmental outcome of infants with newborn encephalopathy of a hypoxic-ischemic origin. The NICHD Neonatal Research Network (NRN) Whole Body Cooling trial used the Cincinnati Sub-Zero Blanketrol II to achieve therapeutic hypothermia. The Blanketrol III is now available and provides additional cooling modes that may result in better temperature control. This report is a retrospective comparison of infants undergoing hypothermia using two different cooling modes of the Blanketrol device. Infants from the NRN trial were cooled with the Blanketrol II using the Automatic control mode (B2 cohort) and were compared with infants from two new NRN centers that adopted the NRN protocol and used the Blanketrol III in a gradient mode (B3 cohort). The primary outcome was the percent time the esophageal temperature stayed between 33°C and 34°C (target 33.5°C) during maintenance of hypothermia. Cohorts had similar birth weight, gestational age, and level of encephalopathy at the initiation of therapy. Baseline esophageal temperature differed between groups (36.6°C±1.0°C for B2 vs. 33.9°C±1.2°C for B3, p<0.0001) reflecting the practice of passive cooling during transport prior to initiation of active device cooling in the B3 cohort. This difference prevented comparison of temperatures during induction of hypothermia. During maintenance of hypothermia the mean and standard deviation of the percent time between 33°C and 34°C was similar for B2 compared to B3 cohorts (94.8%±0.1% vs. 95.8%±0.1%, respectively). Both the automatic and gradient control modes of the Blanketrol devices appear comparable in maintaining esophageal temperature within the target range during maintenance of therapeutic hypothermia.
PMCID: PMC4267126  PMID: 25285767
24.  Hypothermia: Novel Approaches for Premature Infants 
Early human development  2011;87(Suppl 1):S17-S18.
Hypothermia for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy has recently permeated clinical practice for term infants. Speculation regarding a neuroprotective benefit of hypothermia for premature infants with HIE has been raised as a need for further research. Hypothermia for other indications including necrotizing enterocolitis with the hope of tissue preservation following injury is less well studied. A summary of evidence for hypothermia and premature infants is presented in this brief report.
PMCID: PMC3058821  PMID: 21277717
Infant; premature; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; hypothermia; necrotizing enterocolitis
25.  Clinical Seizures in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Have No Independent Impact on Neurodevelopmental Outcome: Secondary Analyses of Data from the Neonatal Research Network Hypothermia Trial 
Journal of Child Neurology  2010;26(3):322-328.
It remains controversial as to whether neonatal seizures have additional direct effects on the developing brain separate from the severity of the underlying encephalopathy. Using data collected from infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and who were enrolled in an National Institute of Child Health and Human Development trial of hypothermia, we analyzed associations between neonatal clinical seizures and outcomes at 18 months of age. Of the 208 infants enrolled, 102 received whole body hypothermia and 106 were controls. Clinical seizures were generally noted during the first 4 days of life and rarely afterward. When adjustment was made for study treatment and severity of encephalopathy, seizures were not associated with death, or moderate or severe disability, or lower Bayley Mental Development Index scores at 18 months of life. Among infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, the mortality and morbidity often attributed to neonatal seizures can be better explained by the underlying severity of encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC3290332  PMID: 20921569
neonatal seizures; whole-body hypothermia; neurodevelopmental outcome; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

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