Background: Transient neonatal hyperglycemia (HG) has been reported in up to 80% of extremely preterm human infants. We hypothesize that severe HG is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in preterm baboons.
Methods: Sixty-six baboons born at 67% of gestation were studied. HG was defined as serum glucose level ≥150 mg/dl during the first week of life. Animals were stratified into two groups: severe HG (≥8 events) and nonsevere HG (<8 events).
Results: HG developed in 65 of the 66 (98%) baboons that were included. A total of 3,386 glucose measurements were obtained. The mean serum glucose level was 159 ± 69 mg/dl for the severe HG group and 130 ± 48 mg/dl for the nonsevere HG group during the first week of life. No differences were found in gender, birth weight, sepsis, patent ductus arteriosus, or oxygenation/ventilation indexes between groups. Severe HG was associated with early death even after controlling for sepsis, postnatal steroid exposure, and catecholamine utilization.
Conclusion: HG is common in preterm baboons and is not associated with short-term morbidity. Severe HG occurring in the first week of life is associated with early death in preterm baboons.