Characteristics and short-term outcomes of neonates with mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia

J Perinatol. 2020 Feb;40(2):275-283. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0551-2. Epub 2019 Nov 13.


Objective: To compare the characteristics and outcomes of neonates with mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) who received hypothermia versus standard care.

Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of neonates ≥35 weeks' gestation and ≥1800 g admitted with a diagnosis of Sarnat stage 1 encephalopathy. We evaluated length of hospital stay, duration of ventilation, evidence of brain injury on MRI, and neonatal morbidities.

Results: Of 1089 eligible neonates, 393 (36%) received hypothermia and 595 (55%) had neuroimaging. The hypothermia group was more likely to be outborn, born via C-section, had lower Apgar scores, and required extensive resuscitation. They had longer durations of stay (9 vs. 6 days, P < 0.001), respiratory support (3 vs. 2 days, P < 0.001), but lower odds of brain injury on MRI (adjusted odds ratio 0.33, 95% CI: 0.22-0.52) compared with standard care group.

Conclusion: Despite prolongation of hospital stay, hypothermia may be potentially beneficial in neonates with mild HIE; however, selection bias cannot be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced* / trends
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / complications
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging
  • Patient Acuity
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Selection Bias