Early Neurological Assessment in Infants with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Treated with Therapeutic Hypothermia

J Clin Med. 2019 Aug 18;8(8):1247. doi: 10.3390/jcm8081247.


Early neurological assessment in infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) treated with hypothermia has not been systematically explored. The aims of the present study were to assess whether the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination (HINE) is a good tool to predict later neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 year from birth in this population of infants. A total of 41 term born infants with HIE treated with hypothermia performed the HINE at 12 months and a neurodevelopmental assessment at 24 months. All the infants who had a global HINE score between 67 and 78 were able to walk independently at 2 years and reported a normal developmental quotient; language disorders were observed in a limited number of infants. HINE scores <67 were always associated with motor impairment. In conclusion, the HINE confirms its role as one of the early neurological examination tools for the diagnosis of high risk infants, even in infants with HIE treated with hypothermia. These results can be useful for clinicians involved in the follow up of these infants for early identification of motor disabilities and in planning appropriate intervention.

Keywords: Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination; hypothermia; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; outcome.