Neonatal sepsis causes significant morbidity and mortality, especially in preterm infants. Consequently, clinicians are compelled to treat with empirical antibiotics at the first signs of suspected sepsis. Unfortunately, both broad-spectrum antibiotics and prolonged treatment with empirical antibiotics are associated with adverse outcomes including invasive candidiasis, increased antimicrobial resistance, necrotizing enterocolitis, late-onset sepsis, and death. Most common neonatal pathogens are susceptible to narrow-spectrum antibiotics. The choice of antibiotic and duration of empirical treatment are strongly associated with center-based rather than with individual patient risk factors, implying that these choices are modifiable across centers. Thus, clinicians should aim to treat with short courses of narrow-spectrum antibiotics whenever possible, choosing the appropriate antibiotics and treatment duration to balance the risks of potentially untreated sepsis against the adverse effects of treatment in infants with sterile cultures.
neonatal intensive care unit; empirical; antibiotic; sepsis; infection
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with candiduria are at substantial risk for death or neurodevelopmental impairment. Therefore, identification of candiduria should prompt a systemic evaluation for disseminated Candida infection and initiation of treatment in all ELBW infants.
Background. Candidiasis carries a significant risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in extremely low birth weight infants (ELBW; <1000 g). We sought to determine the impact of candiduria in ELBW preterm infants.
Methods. Our study was a secondary analysis of the Neonatal Research Network study Early Diagnosis of Nosocomial Candidiasis. Follow-up assessments included Bayley Scales of Infant Development examinations at 18–22 months of corrected age. Risk factors were compared between groups using exact tests and general linear modeling. Death, NDI, and death or NDI were compared using generalized linear mixed modeling.
Results. Of 1515 infants enrolled, 34 (2.2%) had candiduria only. Candida was isolated from blood only (69 of 1515 [4.6%]), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) only (2 of 1515 [0.1%]), other sterile site only (not urine, blood, or CSF; 4 of 1515 [0.3%]), or multiple sources (28 of 1515 [2%]). Eleven infants had the same Candida species isolated in blood and urine within 3 days; 3 (27%) had a positive urine culture result first. Most urine isolates were Candida albicans (21 of 34 [62%]) or Candida parapsilosis (7 of 34 [29%]). Rate of death or NDI was greater among those with candiduria (50%) than among those with suspected but not proven infection (32%; odds ratio, 2.5 [95% confidence interval, 1.2–5.3]) after adjustment. No difference in death and death or NDI was noted between infants with candiduria and those with candidemia.
Conclusions. These findings provide compelling evidence that ELBW infants with candiduria are at substantial risk of death or NDI. Candiduria in ELBW preterm infants should prompt a systemic evaluation (blood, CSF, and abdominal ultrasound) for disseminated Candida infection and warrants treatment.
To determine the dynamic morphological development of the human fovea in-vivo utilizing portable spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT).
Prospective, observational case series.
31 prematurely born neonates, nine children and nine adults.
Sixty-two neonates were enrolled in this study. SDOCT imaging was performed after examination for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at the bedside in non-sedated infants ages 31-41 weeks post-menstrual-age PMA (PMA=gestational age in weeks + chronological age) and at outpatient follow-up ophthalmic examinations. Thirty-one neonates met eligibility criteria. Nine children and nine adults without ocular pathology served as control groups. Semi-automatic retinal layer segmentation was performed. Central foveal thickness (CFT), foveal to parafoveal (FP) ratio (CFT divided by thickness 1000 μm from the foveal center), and 3D thickness maps were analyzed.
Main Outcomes Measures
In-vivo determination of foveal morphology, layer segmentation, analysis of sub-cellular changes, spatio-temporal layer shifting.
In contrast to the adult fovea, we observed several signs of immaturity in the neonates: a shallow foveal pit, persistence of inner retinal layers (IRL), and a thin photoreceptor layer (PRL) that was thinnest at the foveal center. Three-dimensional mapping showed displacement of retinal layers out of the foveal center as the fovea matured and the progressive formation of the inner/outer segment band in the opposite direction. The FP-IRL ratios decreased as IRL migrated prior to term and minimally after that, while FP-PRL ratios increased as PRL subcellular elements formed closer to term and into childhood. A surprising finding was the presence of cystoid macular edema in 58% of premature neonates which appeared to affect inner foveal maturation.
This study provides the first view into development of living cellular layers of the human retina and of subcellular specialization at the fovea in premature infant eyes using portable spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Our work establishes a framework of the timeline of human foveal development, allowing us to identify unexpected retinal abnormalities that may provide new keys to disease activity, and provide a method for mapping of foveal structures from infancy to adulthood that may be integral in future studies of vision and visual cortex development.
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
Variable approaches to the care of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) by multiple providers may contribute to inconsistent care. Our institution developed a comprehensive evidence-based protocol to standardize the management of CDH infants. This report reviews patient outcomes prior to and after implementation of the protocol.
Retrospective chart review of CDH infants managed with individualized care (Pre-protocol group, January 1997–December 2001, n=22) or on the protocol (Protocol group, January 2002–July 2009, n=47). Survival and other categorical variables were compared by chi square analysis and continuous variables were compared using one-sided ANOVA analysis with significance defined as p<0.05.
Survival to discharge was significantly greater in the Protocol group (40/47 (85%)) than the Pre-protocol group (12/22 (52%) p=.006) although mean gestational age, mean birth weight, and expected survival were not statistically different between the two groups. The use of supportive therapies, including high frequency jet ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, and extracorporeal life support was similar between groups as well.
Since implementation of a management protocol for infants with CDH, survival has improved significantly compared with expected survival and pre-protocol controls. Reduction in the variability of care through use of an evidence-based protocol use may improve the survival of CDH infants.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; variability; evidence-based care guidelines; protocolized care
We present a case of bilateral severe retinal edema with subretinal fluid in an infant diagnosed with neonatal hemochromatosis and liver failure. A macular cherry-red spot in each eye mimicked the clinical appearance of many metabolic storage diseases. Both the clinical retinal appearance and the anatomic abnormalities observed on spectral domain optical coherence tomography resolved after successful liver transplant.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is associated with mortality of 10–50%. Several investigators have reported outcomes from centers using high-frequency oscillatory ventilation in their management of CDH, but there are no recent reports on use of high-frequency jet ventilation.
During the study period from January 2001 until August 2007, infants with CDH, who were cared for at Duke University Medical Center, received high-frequency jet ventilation as a rescue mode of high frequency ventilation. We compared actual survival with predicted survival for infants treated only with conventional ventilation versus those rescued with high-frequency jet ventilation after failing conventional ventilation.
Survival for the 16 infants that received high frequency jet ventilation was predicted to be 63%; actual survival was 75%. Survival for the 15 infants that received only conventional ventilation was predicted to be 83%; actual survival was 87%. We observed no significant survival benefit for high-frequency jet ventilation, 8.0% (95 confidence interval; −22.0%, 38.1%, p=0.59).
Although our sample size was small, we conclude with consideration of the absolute results, the degree of illness of the infants, and the biologic plausibility for the intervention, that high-frequency jet ventilation is an acceptable rescue ventilation mode for infants with CDH.
high frequency jet ventilation; congenital diaphragmatic hernia; survival
The purpose of this study is to examine the results of repeat lumbar puncture in infants with initial positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures in order to determine the clinical characteristics and outcomes of infants with repeat positive cultures.
Cohort study of infants with an initial positive CSF culture undergoing repeat lumbar puncture between 1997 and 2004 at 150 neonatal intensive care units managed by the Pediatrix Medical group. We compared the clinical outcomes of infants with repeat positive cultures and infants with repeat negative cultures.
We identified 118 infants with repeat CSF cultures. Of these, 26 infants had repeat positive cultures. A higher proportion with repeat positive cultures died compared to those with repeat negative cultures, 6/23 (26%) vs. 6/81 (7%), respectively (p=0.02).
Among infants with a positive CSF culture, a repeat positive CSF culture is common. The presence of a second positive culture is associated with increased mortality.
neonate; newborn; cerebrospinal fluid; infection; mortality
Report clinical response to recombinant factor VIIa in a cohort of critically ill infants.
We identified all infants who received factor VIIa in the Duke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between January 2005 and July 2008. Hematologic data and volume of blood transfusions before and after factor VIIa treatment were compared. The precipitating diagnosis for each factor VIIa use and the ensuing clinical outcomes of bleeding, thrombosis, and mortality were noted.
We identified 18 infants with median birth weight of 880 g and median gestational age of 26 weeks. One to six doses of factor VIIa (90 mcg/kg/dose) were administered, with 13 (72%) infants receiving a single dose. Hemostasis was achieved in 13 (72%) of the infants. Prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time significantly decreased following treatment with factor VIIa. Volume of plasma transfusions significantly decreased following treatment with factor VIIa (p=0.02). Thrombosis occurred in 1 (11%) infant. Six (33%) infants died within 72 hours of treatment, and overall mortality was 10/18 (56%).
Treatment with factor VIIa at doses of 90 mcg/kg improved coagulation studies and decreased the need for plasma transfusions in a group of critically ill infants without significant risk. Factor VIIa may be an effective addition to current treatment modalities for refractory hemorrhage in infants.
infants; blood products; transfusion; coagulation factors
Patent ductus arteriosus is a common occurrence among prematurely born neonates and is believed to play a role in the development of other complications of prematurity including intraventricular hemorrhage, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and necrotizing enterocolitis. The clinical decision to treat the patent ductus arteriosus is complicated by the lack of evidence available regarding clinical conditions under which closure should be attempted.
To compare clinical outcomes for neonates who underwent treatment of patent ductus arteriosus exhibiting bidirectional blood flow versus those with flow that was left to right.
Cohort study of all neonates with patent ductus arteriosus in which medical closure was attempted at the Duke University between January 2002 and October 2007.
Death and other important clinical conditions.
We identified 20 neonates with bidirectional flow out of 317 cases in which medical closure of patent ductus arteriosus was attempted. There was no significant increase in overall complications due to closure of a bidirectional patent ductus arteriosus [40% (8/20)] versus ones with left to right shunting [38% (111/297) p=0.82]. Death occurred in 15% (3/20) with bidirectional PDA compared to 11% (34/297) in the left to right group, p=0.72.
The trend in mortality is worrisome but does not contraindicate an aggressive approach to the clinically significant PDA that has bidirectional flow at the time of the echocardiogram.
Ductal closure; Preterm infant; Echocardiography; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Intravenous vasopressin at 0.01 to 0.04 units/kg/h increased median mean blood pressure from 26 mm Hg (range 18-44) to 41 mm Hg (range 17-90) by 12 hours of infusion (P = .002) and allowed weaning of catecholamines in a group of extremely low birth weight infants with refractory hypotension.
Determine associations between left vocal cord paralysis (LVCP) and poor respiratory, feeding, and/or developmental outcomes in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants following surgical closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
ELBW infants who underwent PDA ligation between January 2004 and December 2006 were identified. We compared infants with and without LVCP following ligation to determine relationships between LVCP and respiratory morbidities, feeding and growth difficulties, and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18-22 month follow-up. Student's t test, Fisher exact test, and multivariable regression analyses were used to determine associations.
60 ELBW infants with a mean gestational age of 25 weeks and mean birth weight of 725 g had a PDA surgically closed. Twenty-two of 55 survivors (40%) were diagnosed with LVCP post-operatively. Infants with LVCP were significantly more likely to develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (82% vs. 39%, p = 0.002), reactive airway disease (86% vs. 33%, p<0.0001), or need for gastrostomy tube (63% vs. 6%, p<0.0001).
LVCP as a complication of surgical ductal ligation in ELBW infants is associated with persistent respiratory and feeding problems. Direct laryngoscopy should be considered for all infants who experience persistent respiratory and/or feeding difficulties following PDA ligation.
infant, premature; ductus arteriosus, patent; growth & development; infant nutrition disorders; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; asthma
Moderate to severe hypoxic–ischemic injury in newborn infants, manifested as encephalopathy immediately or within hours after birth, is associated with a high risk of either death or a lifetime with disability. In recent multicenter clinical trials, hypothermia initiated within the first 6 postnatal hours has emerged as a therapy that reduces the risk of death or impairment among infants with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy. Prior to hypothermia, no therapies directly targeting neonatal encephalopathy secondary to hypoxic–ischemic injury had convincing evidence of efficacy. Hypothermia therapy is now becoming increasingly available at tertiary centers. Despite the deserved enthusiasm for hypothermia, obstetric and neonatology caregivers, as well as society at large, must be reminded that in the clinical trials more than 40% of cooled infants died or survived with impairment. Although hypothermia is an evidence-based therapy, additional discoveries are needed to further improve outcome after HIE. In this article, we briefly present the epidemiology of neonatal encephalopathy due to hypoxic–ischemic injury, describe the rationale for the use of hypothermia therapy for hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, and present results of the clinical trials that have demonstrated the efficacy of hypothermia. We also present findings noted during and after these trials that will guide care and direct research for this devastating problem.
HIE; hyperthermia; hypothermia; hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy; neonate; perinatal asphyxia
Preterm birth is increasing worldwide, and late preterm births, which comprise more than 70% of all preterm births, account for much of the increase. Early and late onset sepsis results in significant mortality in extremely preterm infants, but little is known about sepsis outcomes in late preterm infants.
This is an observational cohort study of infants < 121 days of age (119,130 infants less than or equal to 3 days of life and 106,142 infants between 4 and 120 days of life) with estimated gestational age at birth between 34 and 36 weeks, admitted to 248 neonatal intensive care units in the United States between 1996 and 2007.
During the study period, the cumulative incidence of early and late onset sepsis was 4.42 and 6.30 episodes per 1000 admissions, respectively. Gram-positive organisms caused the majority of early and late onset sepsis episodes. Infants with early onset sepsis caused by Gram-negative rods and infants with late onset sepsis were more likely to die than their peers with sterile blood cultures (OR 4.39, 95% CI 1.71–11.23, P=0.002; and OR 3.37, 95% CI 2.35–4.84, P<0.001, respectively).
Late preterm infants demonstrate specific infection rates, pathogen distribution, and mortality associated with early and late onset sepsis. The results of this study are generalizable to late preterm infants admitted to the special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit.
blood culture; neonate; prematurity; infection; near term
Compare the rates of medical closure of the PDA and complications (renal dysfunction, necrotizing enterocolitis, spontaneous intestinal perforation, and intraventricular hemorrhage) between infants treated with indomethacin and ibuprofen.
A retrospective comparative cohort study of infants treated with indomethacin or ibuprofen for symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus at Duke University Medical Center between November 2005 and November 2007.
We identified 65 infants that received indomethacin and 57 that received ibuprofen. The rate of survival without surgical ductal ligation was 62% (40/65) in the indomethacin group and 58% (33/57) in the ibuprofen group, P=0.71. The rate of the composite of complications (death, necrotizing enterocolitis, or intestinal perforation) was 40% (26/65) in the indomethacin group and 32% (18/57) in the ibuprofen group, P=0.35. There was no significant difference between groups in elevation of serum creatinine during treatment.
In clinical practice, ibuprofen appears to be as effective as indomethacin for closure of patent ductus arteriosus with similar complication rates. The decision to use one agent over the other should be based on dose schedule preference and the currently published clinical trials until more safety and effectiveness data are available.
Ibuprofen; Indomethacin; Patent Ductus Arteriosus; Neonates; Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug
New technical parameters applied to HH-SD OCT create a novel imaging technique that is more efficient and suitable for the pediatric population.
To describe age-related considerations and methods to improve hand-held spectral domain optical coherence tomography (HH-SD OCT) imaging of eyes of neonates, infants, and children.
Based on calculated optical parameters for neonatal and infant eyes, individualized SD OCT scan parameters were developed for improved imaging in pediatric eyes. Forty-two subjects from 31 weeks postmenstrual age to 1.5 years were imaged with a portable HH-SD OCT system. Images were analyzed for quality, field of scan, magnification, and potential clinical utility.
The axial length of the premature infant eye increases rapidly in a linear pattern during the neonatal period and slows progressively with age. Refractive error shifts from mild myopia in neonates to mild hyperopia in infants. These factors affect magnification and field of view of optical diagnostic tools applied to the infant eye. When SD OCT parameters were corrected based on age-related optical parameters, SD OCT image quality improved in young infants. The field of scan and ease of operation also improved, and the optic nerve, fovea, and posterior pole were successfully imaged in 74% and 87% of individual eye imaging sessions in the intensive care nursery and clinic, respectively. No adverse events were reported.
SD OCT in young children and neonates should be customized for the unique optical parameters of the infant eye. This customization, not only improves image quality, but also allows control of the density of the optical sampling directed onto the retina.
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.
Describe cerebrospinal fluid parameters in infants with culture-proven Group B streptococcal meningitis in the era of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis.
Cohort study of the first lumbar puncture from 13,495 infants cared for at 150 neonatal intensive care units. We compared cerebrospinal fluid parameters [white blood cell count, red blood cell count, glucose, and protein], demographics, and outcomes between infants with and without Group B streptococcal meningitis.
We identified 46 infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis. The median cerebrospinal fluid white blood cell count was 271 cells/mm3 for infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis and 6 cells/mm3 for infants without meningitis (p=0.0001). Of the infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis, 9/46 (20%) had negative blood cultures. Meningitis complicated 22/145 (15%) of episodes of early onset Group B streptococcal sepsis and 13/23 (57%) of episodes of late onset Group B streptococcal sepsis.
Group B streptococcal meningitis occurs in the presence of negative blood cultures. In hospitalized infants who undergo a lumbar puncture, Group B streptococcal sepsis is frequently complicated by GBS meningitis.
Group B streptococcus; intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis; meningitis
Our aim was to determine the incidence of anatomic abnormalities following a urinary tract infection in infants < 2 months of age hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit.
This was a retrospective, single center cohort study of infants < 2 months of age in the neonatal intensive care unit with a urinary tract infection and documented renal imaging.
We identified 141 infants with urinary tract infections. The mean gestational age and birth weight were 28 weeks and 1254 g, respectively. The most commonly identified pathogen was coagulase negative Staphylococcus (28%, 44/156). A major abnormality was found on at least one imaging study for 4% (5/118) of infants. Major abnormalities were noted on 4% (5/114) of renal ultrasounds and 2% (2/82) of voiding cystourethrography examinations.
Among infants in the neonatal intensive care unit < 2 months of age at the time of a urinary tract infection the prevalence of major anatomic abnormalities is < 5%.
renal abnormalities; renal ultrasound; voiding cystourethrography
Surgical closure of a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) continues to be frequent among Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) infants, despite improvements in the medical management of PDA’s and rising questions about its pathophysiologic role. Among other possible complications of this surgical intervention, left vocal fold paralysis (LVFP) has been reported. Only more recently, however, neonatologists are realizing the frequency and impact of this complication on chronic respiratory and feeding difficulties in the ELBW population. In this case series, we describe the clinical course of three sets of multiple births, for which at least one infant underwent surgical closure of his PDA and subsequently developed feeding and/or respiratory difficulties due to LVFP, and compare them to their respective siblings who did not sustain this complication.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus; Vocal cord paralysis; Infant, Premature; Infant, Low Birth Weight; Feeding
Our objectives were to identify factors associated with the duration of the first antibiotic course initiated in the first 3 postnatal days and to assess associations between the duration of the initial antibiotic course and subsequent necrotizing enterocolitis or death in extremely low birth weight infants with sterile initial postnatal culture results.
We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of extremely low birth weight infants admitted to tertiary centers in 1998–2001. We defined initial empirical antibiotic treatment duration as continuous days of antibiotic therapy started in the first 3 postnatal days with sterile culture results. We used descriptive statistics to characterize center practice, bivariate analyses to identify factors associated with prolonged empirical antibiotic therapy (≥5 days), and multivariate analyses to evaluate associations between therapy duration, prolonged empirical therapy, and subsequent necrotizing enterocolitis or death.
Of 5693 extremely low birth weight infants admitted to 19 centers, 4039 (71%) survived >5 days, received initial empirical antibiotic treatment, and had sterile initial culture results through the first 3 postnatal days. The median therapy duration was 5 days (range: 1–36 days); 2147 infants (53%) received prolonged empirical therapy (center range: 27%–85%). Infants who received prolonged therapy were less mature, had lower Apgar scores, and were more likely to be black. In multivariate analyses adjusted for these factors and center, prolonged therapy was associated with increased odds of necrotizing enterocolitis or death and of death. Each empirical treatment day was associated with increased odds of death, necrotizing enterocolitis, and the composite measure of necrotizing enterocolitis or death.
Prolonged initial empirical antibiotic therapy may be associated with increased risk of necrotizing entero-colitis or death and should be used with caution.
antibiotic use; bloodstream infection; extremely low birth weight infants; necrotizing enterocolitis; death
To estimate blood stream infection risk associated with catheter dwell time.
We performed a retrospective study of 1540 peripherally inserted catheters placed in 882 infants from August 2002 until November 2005.
The Duke University Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is an academic level III nursery.
A catheter related blood stream infection was defined as a positive blood culture that was documented >24 hours after catheter placement or within 72 hours of catheter removal. We used multivariable logistic regression to control for dwell time of catheter, weight at insertion, birth weight, gestational age, day of insertion, position of catheter, and gender.
We identified 135 cases of catheter related blood stream infection. The mean catheter dwell time was 12.2 days (range, 0-113 days) and mean time to blood stream infection 10.8 days (range, 1-57 days). Increasing catheter dwell time was associated with a lower risk of blood stream infection (OR 0.975; 95% CI, 0.954-0.996, P=0.02).
No increase risk of catheter related blood stream infection was observed with increasing catheter dwell time. This may have been due to improved nutrition, decreased need for other invasive devices, and maturation of the infants' skin and immune system as catheter dwell time increased.
nosocomial infection; central line; infant
Cerebrospinal fluid parameters are of great importance in diagnosing meningitis, but normal values for preterm neonates are based on small, single-center studies. We sought to determine current values for preterm neonate cerebrospinal fluid parameters and assess the association of cerebrospinal fluid parameters with culture proven meningitis.
Cohort study of the first lumbar puncture from 4,632 neonates <34 weeks gestation performed in the years 1997-2004 at 150 neonatal intensive care units managed by the Pediatrix Medical Group.
We identified 95 cases of meningitis from the 4,632 lumbar punctures. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curves for white blood cell count, glucose, and protein were 0.80, 0.63, and 0.72 respectively for prediction of culture proven meningitis.
Cerebrospinal fluid parameters used to diagnose meningitis in the absence of dependable cerebrospinal fluid cultures are unreliable. Caution should be employed when interpreting cerebrospinal fluid parameters in the premature neonate.
nosocomial infections; central nervous system; diagnosis; preterm
Calprotectin is a cytosolic component of neutrophils. Fecal calprotectin (FC) level is a useful marker for exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease in children. FC may be a useful marker for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
To determine normal baseline levels of FC and observe dynamic changes of FC levels over the first postnatal month in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.
FC levels of 14 VLBW infants (gestational age 23–30 weeks, birth weight ≤1,500 g) were serially measured in the first postnatal month. Demographics, feeding regimens, antibiotic use, laboratory and x-ray results, and maternal information were recorded. We assessed how FC levels changed over time, varied with nutritional source and differed between sick versus well infants.
FC levels were not related to gestational age or feedings regimen. FC levels tended to decrease with increasing age (p = 0.121) and feeding volumes (p = 0.179). FC levels differed between ‘well’ and ‘sick’ infants (122.8 ± 98.9 vs. 380.4 ± 246.3 μg/g stool, p < 0.001). FC >350 μg/g stool was noted with signs of gastrointestinal injury, such as bloody stool and bowel perforation. FC levels decreased after initiation of treatments in sick infants who recovered.
FC levels may be a marker for early diagnosis and resolution of gastrointestinal illnesses in VLBW infants. Its utility for early diagnosis and assessment of resolution of NEC should be studied in a larger cohort of VLBW infants.
Fecal calprotectin; Very low birth weight infant; Necrotizing enterocolitis; Diagnostic marker
It is unclear whether aggressive phototherapy to prevent neurotoxic effects of bilirubin benefits or harms infants with extremely low birth weight (1000 g or less).
We randomly assigned 1974 infants with extremely low birth weight at 12 to 36 hours of age to undergo either aggressive or conservative phototherapy. The primary outcome was a composite of death or neurodevelopmental impairment determined for 91% of the infants by investigators who were unaware of the treatment assignments.
Aggressive phototherapy, as compared with conservative phototherapy, significantly reduced the mean peak serum bilirubin level (7.0 vs. 9.8 mg per deciliter [120 vs. 168 μmol per liter], P<0.01) but not the rate of the primary outcome (52% vs. 55%; relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87 to 1.02; P = 0.15). Aggressive phototherapy did reduce rates of neurodevelopmental impairment (26%, vs. 30% for conservative phototherapy; relative risk, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.99). Rates of death in the aggressive-phototherapy and conservative-phototherapy groups were 24% and 23%, respectively (relative risk, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.22). In preplanned subgroup analyses, the rates of death were 13% with aggressive phototherapy and 14% with conservative phototherapy for infants with a birth weight of 751 to 1000 g and 39% and 34%, respectively (relative risk, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.34), for infants with a birth weight of 501 to 750 g.
Aggressive phototherapy did not significantly reduce the rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment. The rate of neurodevelopmental impairment alone was significantly reduced with aggressive phototherapy. This reduction may be offset by an increase in mortality among infants weighing 501 to 750 g at birth. (ClinicalTrials. gov number, NCT00114543.)