Brain oxygen transport related to levels of fetal haemoglobin in stable preterm infants

J Dev Physiol. 1992 May;17(5):209-13.


The relative amount of regional cerebral oxygen transport was compared between different preterm infants by performing measurements of cerebral blood flow velocity, mean arterial blood pressure, whole blood viscosity and haemoglobin content for each individual. In addition the percentage of fetal haemoglobin was determined. On 25 occasions measurements of fetal haemoglobin and cerebral oxygen transport have been performed prior to and following a blood transfusion with adult red blood cells. Comparison of the data for cerebral oxygen transport suggests that the actual amount of cerebral oxygen transport is lowest at fetal haemoglobin levels below 30% and will increase progressively as soon as the percentage of fetal haemoglobin rises about 30%. Thus, at increasing fetal haemoglobin levels, cerebral haemodynamic mechanisms in the human neonate cause elevations of regional cerebral blood flow and oxygen transport. The found increase of cerebral blood flow and oxygen transport at high fetal haemoglobin levels will minimize the impeded dissociation and delivery of oxygen to brain tissues.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Fetal Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / metabolism*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Viscosity


  • Hemoglobins
  • Fetal Hemoglobin
  • Oxygen