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1.  Urinary tract infection concordance with positive blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures in the neonatal intensive care unit 
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3549035  PMID: 22935772
infant; sepsis
2.  Duration of empirical antibiotic therapy for infants suspected of early-onset sepsis 
Current opinion in pediatrics  2013;25(2):167-171.
Purpose of review
Clinicians’ adherence to AAP and CDC Guidelines to prevent Group B Streptococcal (GBS) early onset sepsis (EOS) have reduced GBS EOS. While evidence-based testing and empirical antibiotic initiation is likely saving lives, clinicians have less compelling data to guide duration of empirically initiated antibiotics when cultures remain sterile and clinical signs resolve quickly. Our purpose is to review current opinions and evidence influencing clinicians’ choices for duration of empirically initiated antibiotics in newborns with sterile cultures.
Recent findings
Retrospective cohort studies indicate potential for harm with longer duration of empirical antibiotics for EOS when cultures are sterile. Cohort studies indicate timing of widely used tests used to estimate EOS risk affects their predictive value, and tests acquired 24 – 48 hours postnatally may provide reassurance for safe discontinuation.
Every day clinicians caring for thousands of neonates in the US stop antibiotics which were started empirically to treat EOS on the first postnatal day. Evidence is lacking to support a universal approach to decisions on duration of empirical antibiotics when cultures remain sterile. Reviewing predictive value relative to timing of laboratory testing can help clinicians develop locally appropriate antimicrobial duration decision-making guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3596444  PMID: 23407181
empirical antibiotics; early onset sepsis
3.  Perinatal Factors Associated with Poor Neurocognitive Outcome in Early School Age Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Survivors 
Journal of pediatric surgery  2013;48(4):730-737.
Determine predictors of neurocognitive outcome in early school age congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) survivors.
Study design
Prospective study of infants with CDH at Duke University Medical Center. Neurocognitive delay (NCD) at school age (4 to 7 years) was defined as a score < 80 in any of the following areas: Verbal Scale IQ, Performance Scale IQ, Expressive Language, or Receptive Language. Logistic regression, Fisher’s exact, and the Wilcoxon rank sum test were used to examine the relationship between NCD at early school age and 6 demographic and 18 medical variables.
Of 43 infants with CDH, twenty seven (63%) survived to hospital discharge, and 16 (59%) returned for school age testing at a median age of 4.9 years. Seven (44%) of the children evaluated had NCD. Patch repair (p=0.01), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO; p=0.02), days on ECMO (p=0.01), days of mechanical ventilation (p=0.049), and post-operative use of inhaled nitric oxide (p=0.02) were found to be associated with NCD at early school age.
CDH survivors are at risk for neurocognitive delay persisting into school age. Perinatal factors such as patch repair and ECMO treatment may aid in identifying CDH survivors at high risk for continued learning difficulties throughout childhood.
PMCID: PMC3734202  PMID: 23583126
hernia, diaphragmatic; follow-up studies; neurobehavioral manifestations; growth & development; infant nutrition disorders
4.  Pharmacokinetics and Tolerability of Single-Dose Daptomycin in Young Infants 
Daptomycin is approved for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections and Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. We sought to characterize daptomycin single-dose pharmacokinetics and tolerability in young infants.
Subjects <120 days of age with suspected systemic infections were eligible for inclusion. Each subject was given a single 6 mg/kg intravenous dose of daptomycin. An average of 4 post-dose concentrations per infant was obtained.
Data from 20 infants are presented. Median gestational age at birth and postnatal age were 32 weeks (range 23, 40) and 3 days (1, 85), respectively. The median area under the concentration curve at 24 hours, volume of distribution, total body clearance, and half-life of daptomycin were 262.4 mg*h/L (166.7, 340.2), 0.21 L/kg (0.11, 0.34), 0.021 L/hr/kg (0.016, 0.034), and 6.2 hours (3.7, 9.0), respectively. No adverse events related to daptomycin were observed, including changes in creatine phosphokinase concentrations.
Daptomycin clearance in young infants was similar to that in 2–6-year-olds and higher than that observed in adolescents and adults.
PMCID: PMC3421038  PMID: 22627869
daptomycin; complicated skin and skin structure infections; Staphylococcus aureus; pharmacokinetics
5.  Group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli Infections in the Intensive Care Nursery in the Era of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis 
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.
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.
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.
In our cohort, the incidence of early-onset GBS SBI decreased, while the incidence of late-onset SBI for E. coli and GBS increased.
PMCID: PMC3572304  PMID: 23011013
infection; infant; sepsis; group B Streptococcus; Escherichia coli
6.  Risk Factors for Invasive Candidiasis in Infants >1500 g Birth Weight 
We describe the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of invasive candidiasis in infants >1500 g birth weight.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of infants >1500 g birth weight discharged from 305 NICUs in the Pediatrix Medical Group from 2001–2010. Using multivariable logistic regression, we identified risk factors for invasive candidiasis.
Invasive candidiasis occurred in 330/530,162 (0.06%) infants. These were documented from positive cultures from ≥1 of these sources: blood (n=323), cerebrospinal fluid (n=6), or urine from catheterization (n=19). Risk factors included day of life >7 (OR 25.2; 95% CI 14.6–43.3), vaginal birth (OR 1.6 [1.2–2.3]), exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics (OR 1.6 [1.1–2.4]), central venous line (OR 1.8 [1.3–2.6]), and platelet count <50,000/mm3 (OR 3.7 [2.1–6.7]). All risk factors had poor sensitivities, low positive likelihood ratios, and low positive predictive values. The combination of broad-spectrum antibiotics and low platelet count had the highest positive likelihood ratio (46.2), but the sensitivity of this combination was only 4%. Infants with invasive candidiasis had increased mortality (OR 2.2 [1.3–3.6]).
Invasive candidiasis is uncommon in infants >1500 g birth weight. Infants at greatest risk are those exposed to broad-spectrum antibiotics and with platelet counts of <50,000/mm3.
PMCID: PMC3578110  PMID: 23042050
candidiasis; candidemia; neonates; neonatal intensive care unit
7.  Sports Medicine and Ethics 
Physicians working in the world of competitive sports face unique ethical challenges, many of which center around conflicts of interest. Team-employed physicians have obligations to act in the club’s best interest while caring for the individual athlete. As such, they must balance issues like protecting versus sharing health information, as well as issues regarding autonomous informed consent versus paternalistic decision-making in determining whether an athlete may compete safely. Moreover, the physician has to deal with an athlete’s decisions about performance enhancement and return to play, pursuit of which may not be in the athlete’s long-term best interests but may benefit the athlete and team in the short term. These difficult tasks are complicated by the lack of evidence-based standards in a field influenced by the lure of financial gains for multiple parties involved. In this article, we review ethical issues in sports medicine with specific attention paid to American professional football.
PMCID: PMC3899648  PMID: 24024796
sports medicine; ethics; conflict of interest; sports; football; athletes
8.  Regional Variation in Late Preterm Births in North Carolina 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3725330  PMID: 22350629
late preterm; preterm birth; unwarranted variation; practice variation
9.  Isoflurane for Life-Threatening Bronchospasm – A 15 Year Single-Center Experience 
Respiratory care  2012;57(11):10.4187/respcare.01605.
Children with severe bronchospasm requiring mechanical ventilation may become refractory to conventional therapy. In these critically ill patients, isoflurane is an inhaled anesthetic agent available in some centers to treat bronchospasm. We hypothesized that isoflurane is safe and would lead to improved gas exchange in children with life-threatening bronchospasm refractory to conventional therapy.
A retrospective review was conducted and included mechanically ventilated children treated with isoflurane in a quaternary pediatric intensive care unit for life-threatening bronchospasm from 1993–2007. Demographic, blood gas, ventilator and outcome data were collected.
Thirty-one patients with a mean age of 9.5 years (range; 0.4 – 23 years) were treated with isoflurane from 1993–2007. Mean time to initiation of isoflurane after intubation was 13 hours (0–120 hours) and the mean maximum isoflurane dose was 1.1 % (0.3 – 2.5%). Mean duration of isoflurane administration was 54.5 hours (1 – 181), with a total mean duration of mechanical ventilation of 252 hours (33.3 – 1454.5). Isoflurane led to significant improvement in pH and pCO2 within four hours of initiation (p ≤ 0.001). Complications during isoflurane administration included hypotension requiring vasoactive infusions in 24 (77%), arrhythmia in 3 (10%), neurologic side effects in 3 (10%), and pneumothorax in 1 (3%) patient.
Isoflurane led to improvement in pH and pCO2 within four hours in this series of mechanically ventilated patients with life-threatening bronchospasm. The majority of patients in this series developed hypotension, but there was a low incidence of other side effects related to isoflurane administration. Isoflurane appears to be an effective therapy in patients with life-threatening bronchospasm refractory to conventional therapy. However, further investigation is warranted given the uncertain overall impact of isoflurane in this context.
PMCID: PMC3825849  PMID: 22417969
asthma; bronchospasm; mechanical ventilation; inhaled anesthetics; isoflurane; pediatric intensive care unit
10.  Very low birth weight neonates who survive early-onset sepsis do not have an increased risk of developing late-onset sepsis 
Early human development  2012;88(11):905-909.
Very low birth weight neonates (≤1500 g, VLBWs) have a high rate of infection and distinct baseline immune function compared with more mature populations. In critically ill children and adults, sepsis increases subsequent infection risk. It is unknown whether sepsis modifies the risk of subsequent infection in VLBWs.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of VLBWs ≤32 weeks gestation at birth cared for in 312 neonatal intensive care units in the United States from 1997–2011 (n=103,376). Early-onset sepsis (EOS, culture-positive only) and late-onset sepsis (LOS, culture-positive or clinical) cases were identified. Cox proportional hazards models were used to control for clinical variables between neonates with and without EOS to determine if EOS modified risk of LOS, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), or death.
LOS occurred in 12,112/102,317 (11.8%) neonates without EOS and in 133/1059 (12.6%) of those with EOS. After adjustment for clinical variables, the risk of LOS was not different between neonates with or without a history of EOS (hazard ratio [HR]=0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74, 1.16). EOS increased the risk of 120-day mortality (HR=1.78; 95% CI 1.49, 2.13).
In contrast to findings in children and adults, EOS was not associated with an increased risk of LOS in this cohort. Age-specific investigations are needed to determine if post-sepsis immunologic alterations are present.
PMCID: PMC3462255  PMID: 22840605
preterm; neonate; sepsis; immunoparalysis
11.  Pharmacokinetics and Safety of Fluconazole in Young Infants Supported with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation 
Candida infections are a leading cause of infectious disease-related death in infants supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The ECMO circuit can alter drug pharmacokinetics (PK), thus standard fluconazole dosing in children on ECMO may result in suboptimal drug exposure. This study determined the PK of fluconazole in infants on ECMO.
Infants <120 days old received either intravenous fluconazole prophylaxis (25 mg/kg once a week) or treatment (12 mg/kg daily) while on ECMO. Paired plasma samples were collected pre- and post-oxygenator around doses 1 and 2 to calculate PK indices and describe oxygenator extraction. A 1-compartment model was fit to the data using non-linear regression. Surrogate pharmacodynamic targets for efficacy were evaluated.
Ten infants were enrolled. After dose 1 (n=9), the median clearance was 17 mL/kg/h, the median volume of distribution was 1.5 L/kg, and the median exposure in the first 24 hours (AUC0–24) was 322 h*mg/L. After multiple doses (n=7), the median clearance was 22 mL/kg/h, the median volume of distribution was 1.9 L/kg, and the AUC0–24 was 352 h*mg/L. After dose 1, 78% of infants achieved the prophylaxis target, while only 11% achieved the therapeutic target. Oxygenator extraction of fluconazole was minimal (−2.0%, standard deviation 15.0), and extraction was not correlated with age of the ECMO circuit (rho= − 0.05). There were no adverse events related to fluconazole.
Infants on ECMO had higher volume of distribution but similar clearance when compared with historical controls not on ECMO. In infants on ECMO, a fluconazole dose of 25 mg/kg weekly provides adequate exposure for prophylaxis against Candida infections. However, higher doses may be needed for treatment.
PMCID: PMC3444624  PMID: 22627870
fluconazole; Candida; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; pharmacokinetics; infants
14.  Use of the Complete Blood Cell Count in Early-Onset Neonatal Sepsis 
Early-onset sepsis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates, and its diagnosis remains challenging. The complete blood cell count and differential have been previously evaluated as diagnostic tools for early-onset sepsis in small, single-center reports. We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the complete blood count and differential in early-onset sepsis in a large, multicenter population of neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Using a cohort of 166,092 neonates with suspected early-onset sepsis with cultures admitted to 293 neonatal intensive care units, we calculated odds ratios and receiver operating characteristic curves for complete blood cell count indices and prediction of a positive culture. We determined sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios for various commonly used cut-off values from the complete blood cell count.
Low white blood cell counts, low absolute neutrophil counts, and high immature-to-total neutrophil ratios were associated with increasing odds of infection (highest odds ratios: 5.38, 6.84, and 7.97, respectively). Specificity and negative predictive values were high (73.7–99.9% and >99.8%). However, sensitivities were low (0.3–54.5%) for all complete blood cell count indices analyzed.
Low white blood cell count, absolute neutrophil count, and high immature-to-total neutrophil ratio were associated with increasing odds of infection, but no complete blood cell count-derived index possesses the sensitivity to rule out reliably early-onset sepsis in neonates.
PMCID: PMC3399972  PMID: 22531231
neonatal; early-onset sepsis; blood cell count
15.  Use of the Complete Blood Cell Count in Late-Onset Neonatal Sepsis 
Late-onset sepsis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Diagnosis of late-onset sepsis can be challenging. The complete blood cell count and differential have been previously evaluated as diagnostic tools for late-onset sepsis in small, single-center reports.
We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the complete blood count and differential in late-onset sepsis in a large multicenter population.
Study design
Using a cohort of all infants with cultures and complete blood cell count data from a large administrative database, we calculated odds ratios for infection, as well as sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and likelihood ratios for various commonly used cut-off values.
High and low white blood cell counts, high absolute neutrophil counts, high immature-to-total neutrophil ratios, and low platelet counts were associated with late-onset sepsis. Associations were weaker with increasing postnatal age at the time of the culture. Specificity was highest for white blood cell counts <1000/mm3 and >50,000/mm3 (>99%). Positive likelihood ratios were highest for white blood cell counts <1000/mm3 (4.1) and platelet counts <50,000/mm3 (3.5).
No complete blood count index possessed adequate sensitivity to reliably rule out late-onset sepsis in this population.
PMCID: PMC3399981  PMID: 22531232
neonatal; late-onset sepsis; blood cell count
16.  Approach to Infants Born at 22 to 24 Weeks’ Gestation: Relationship to Outcomes of More-Mature Infants 
Pediatrics  2012;129(6):e1508-e1516.
We sought to determine if a center’s approach to care of premature infants at the youngest gestational ages (22–24 weeks’ gestation) is associated with clinical outcomes among infants of older gestational ages (25–27 weeks’ gestation).
Inborn infants of 401 to 1000 g birth weight and 22 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks’ gestation at birth from 2002 to 2008 were enrolled into a prospectively collected database at 20 centers participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Markers of an aggressive approach to care for 22- to 24-week infants included use of antenatal corticosteroids, cesarean delivery, and resuscitation. The primary outcome was death before postnatal day 120 for infants of 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Secondary outcomes were the combined outcomes of death or a number of morbidities associated with prematurity.
Our study included 3631 infants 22 to 24 weeks’ gestation and 5227 infants 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Among the 22- to 24-week infants, use of antenatal corticosteroids ranged from 28% to 100%, cesarean delivery from 13% to 65%, and resuscitation from 30% to 100% by center. Centers with higher rates of antenatal corticosteroid use in 22- to 24-week infants had reduced rates of death, death or retinopathy of prematurity, death or late-onset sepsis, death or necrotizing enterocolitis, and death or neurodevelopmental impairment in 25- to 27-week infants.
This study suggests that physicians’ willingness to provide care to extremely low gestation infants as measured by frequency of use of antenatal corticosteroids is associated with improved outcomes for more-mature infants.
PMCID: PMC3362905  PMID: 22641761
low-birth weight infant; NICUs; treatment; patient outcome assessment
17.  Recent Advances in the Detection of Neonatal Candidiasis 
Neonatal candidiasis is serious and often fatal. Blood culture, the standard for diagnosis, has a sensitivity of 50% or less, and isolate speciation and susceptibility takes several days. This review explores recent advances in Candida detection using various diagnostic strategies.
PMCID: PMC2864036  PMID: 20454602
18.  Antifungal Therapy and Outcomes in Infants with Invasive Candida Infections 
Invasive candidiasis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in neonatal intensive care units. Treatment recommendations are limited by a lack of comparative outcomes data.
We identified all infants ≤120 days of age with positive blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid cultures for Candida sp. who received amphotericin B deoxycholate, fluconazole, amphotericin B lipid products, or combination therapy admitted to 1 of 192 neonatal intensive care units in the United States between 1997 and 2003. Primary outcome measures included overall mortality and therapeutic failure (combined outcome of duration of infection >7 days, need for additional antifungal therapy, or death prior to discharge). We compared outcomes by antifungal therapy using logistic regression, controlling for gestational age, day of life at start of antifungal therapy, delay in therapy, and site of infection.
Overall, 138/730 (19%) infants died. On multivariable logistic regression, we observed higher overall mortality for infants receiving amphotericin B lipid products compared with infants receiving amphotericin B deoxycholate (OR 1.96 [95% CI: 1.16, 3.33]; p=0.01) or fluconazole (OR 2.39 [1.18, 4.83]; p=0.02).
Infants treated with amphotericin B lipid products had higher mortality than infants treated with either amphotericin B deoxycholate or fluconazole. This finding may be related to inadequate penetration of amphotericin B lipid products into the kidneys, inappropriate dosing in premature infants, or unknown differences in acuity of illness in infants treated with amphotericin B lipid products.
PMCID: PMC3329577  PMID: 22189522
invasive candidiasis; infants; amphotericin B deoxycholate; fluconazole; amphotericin B lipid products
19.  Neonatal fungal infections: when to treat? 
Early human development  2012;88(Suppl 2):S6-S10.
Candida infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units. Mortality following Candida bloodstream infections is as high as 40%, and neurodevelopmental impairment is common among survivors. Because invasive fungal infections are common and extremely difficult to diagnose, empirical treatment with antifungal therapy should be considered in high-risk, low-birth-weight infants who fail to quickly respond to empirical antibacterial treatment. Risk factors to consider when deciding to administer empirical antifungal therapy include: prior exposure to third-generation cephalosporins, extreme prematurity, and presence of central venous catheters.
PMCID: PMC3512570  PMID: 22633516
neonatal intensive care unit; empirical; Candida; infection; antifungal therapy
20.  Early and Late Onset Sepsis in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants from a Large Group of Neonatal Intensive Care Units 
Early human development  2012;88(Suppl 2):S69-S74.
Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW, <1500 g birth weight) infants are at high risk for both early- and late-onset sepsis. Prior studies have observed a predominance of gram-negative organisms as a cause of early-onset sepsis and gram-positive organisms as a cause of late-onset sepsis. These reports are limited to large, academic neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and may not reflect findings in other units. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors for sepsis, the causative organisms, and mortality following infection in a large and diverse sample of NICUs.
We analyzed the results of all cultures obtained from VLBW infants admitted to 313 NICUs from 1997 to 2010.
Over 108,000 VLBW infants were admitted during the study period. Early-onset sepsis occurred in 1032 infants, and late-onset sepsis occurred in 12,204 infants. Gram-negative organisms were the most commonly isolated pathogens in early-onset sepsis, and gram-positive organisms were most commonly isolated in late-onset sepsis. Early- and late-onset sepsis were associated with increased risk of death controlling for other confounders (odds ratio 1.45 [95% confidence interval 1.21, 1.73], and OR 1.30 [95% CI 1.21, 1.40], respectively).
This is the largest report of sepsis in VLBW infants to date. Incidence for early-onset sepsis and late-onset sepsis has changed little over this 14-year period, and overall mortality in VLBW infants with early- and late-onset sepsis is higher than in infants with negative cultures.
PMCID: PMC3513766  PMID: 22633519
early-onset sepsis; late-onset sepsis; very-low-birth-weight infants
21.  Sepsis in Young Infants with Congenital Heart Disease 
Early human development  2012;88(Suppl 2):S92-S97.
We sought to describe the incidence, pathogen distribution, and mortality associated with blood culture-proven sepsis in young infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Cohort study of all blood cultures obtained from infants with CHD between 4 and 120 days of age cared for in250 NICUs managed by the Pediatrix Medical Group in the United States between 1996 and 2007.
Of 11,638 infants with CHD, 656 (6%) had 821 episodes of sepsis: a cumulative incidence of 71/1000 admissions. Gram-positive organisms were the most common cause (64%), and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and Staphylococcus aureus were the most frequently isolated species. On multivariable regression, infants with sepsis were more likely to die compared to infants with sterile blood cultures (odds ratio [OR] = 1.53 [95% confidence interval: 1.09, 2.13]). Infants with gram-negative bacteremia and candidemia were more likely to die than infants with sterile blood cultures (OR = 2.01 [1.20, 3.37], and OR = 3.18 [1.60, 6.34], respectively).
Infants with CHD have a high incidence of culture-proven sepsis, especially with staphylococcal organisms. Gram-negative bacteremia and candidemia are strongly associated with increased mortality in this group of young infants.
PMCID: PMC3513769  PMID: 22633525
infant; sepsis; infection; congenital heart disease; epidemiology; outcomes
22.  Safety and Effectiveness of Indomethacin versus Ibuprofen for Treatment of the Patent Ductus Arteriosus 
American journal of perinatology  2009;27(5):425-429.
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.
Study Design
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.
PMCID: PMC2877168  PMID: 20013605
Ibuprofen; Indomethacin; Patent Ductus Arteriosus; Neonates; Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug
23.  Toll-like Receptor 1 Polymorphisms Increase Susceptibility to Candidemia 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(6):934-943.
(See the editorial commentary by Bagni and Whitby, on pages 873–4.)
Background. Candidemia is a severe invasive fungal infection with high mortality. Recognition of Candida species is mediated through pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs). This study assessed whether genetic variation in TLR signaling influences susceptibility to candidemia.
Methods. Thirteen mostly nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding TLRs and signaling adaptors MyD88 and Mal/TIRAP were genotyped in 338 patients (237 white, 93 African American, 8 other race) with candidemia and 351 noninfected controls (263 white, 88 African American). The SNPs significant in univariate analysis were further analyzed with multivariable logistic regression to determine association with clinical outcomes. Functional consequences of these polymorphisms were assessed via in vitro stimulation assays.
Results. Analyses of TLR SNPs revealed that 3 TLR1 SNPs (R80T, S248N, I602S) were significantly associated with candidemia susceptibility in whites. This association was not found in African Americans, likely due to lower power in this smaller study population. Furthermore, these TLR1 polymorphisms displayed impaired cytokine release by primary monocytes. No associations with susceptibility to candidemia were observed for SNPs in TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, TLR9, MyD88, or TIRAP.
Conclusions. Nonsynonymous SNPs in TLR1 are associated with impaired TLR1 function, decreased cytokine responses, and predisposition to candidemia in whites.
PMCID: PMC3282566  PMID: 22301633
24.  Bias Flow Does Not Affect Ventilation During High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation in a Pediatric Animal Model of Acute Lung Injury 
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine  2012;13(2):e108-e112.
During high frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), bias flow is the continuous flow of gas responsible for replenishing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the patient circuit. Bias flow is usually set at 20 liters per minute (lpm), but many patients require neuromuscular blockade (NMB) at this flow rate. The need for NMB may be eliminated by increasing the bias flow rate, but CO2 retention is a potential concern. We hypothesize that in a swine model of acute lung injury (ALI), increased bias flow rates will not affect CO2 elimination.
Prospective, randomized, experimental study.
Research laboratory at a university medical center.
Sixteen juvenile swine.
Sixteen juvenile swine (12-16.5 kg) were studied using a saline lavage model of ALI. During HFOV, each animal was ventilated with bias flows of 10, 20, 30, and 40 lpm in random sequence. For 10 animals, power was set at a constant level to maintain PaCO2 50-60 mmHg, and amplitude was allowed to vary. For the remaining 6 animals, amplitude was kept constant to maintain PaCO2 within the same range, while power was adjusted as needed with changes in bias flow. Linear regression was used for data analysis.
Measurements and Main Results
Median overall PaCO2 was 53 mmHg (range: 31-81 mmHg). Controlling for both power and amplitude, there was no statistically significant change in PaCO2 as bias flow varied from 10 to 40 lpm.
Changes in bias flow during HFOV did not affect ventilation. Further clinical investigation is ongoing in infants and children with ALI being managed with HFOV to assess the impact of alterations of bias flow on gas exchange, cardiopulmonary parameters, sedation requirements and other clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3197894  PMID: 21725276
high frequency ventilation; bias flow; carbon dioxide elimination; mean airway pressure; acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; oscillation; mechanical ventilation; pediatric; neonate
25.  Antibiotic Use and Misuse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
Clinics in Perinatology  2011;39(1):61-68.
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.
PMCID: PMC3285418  PMID: 22341537
neonatal intensive care unit; empirical; antibiotic; sepsis; infection

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