Blood gas measures as predictors for neonatal encephalopathy severity

J Perinatol. 2021 Sep;41(9):2261-2269. doi: 10.1038/s41372-021-01075-w. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


Objective: To correlate arterial umbilical cord gas (aUCG) and infant blood gas with severity of neurological injury.

Study design: Retrospective single-site study of infants evaluated for therapeutic hypothermia. Clinical neurological examination and a validated MRI scoring system were used to assess injury severity.

Results: Sixty-eight infants were included. aUCG base deficit (BD) and lactate correlated with infant blood gas counterparts (r = 0.43 and r = 0.56, respectively). aUCG and infant pH did not correlate. Infant blood gas lactate (RADJ2 = 0.40), infant BD (RADJ2 = 0.26), infant pH (RADJ2 = 0.17), aUCG base deficit (RADJ2 = 0.08), and aUCG lactate (RADJ2 = 0.11) were associated with clinical neurological examination severity. aUCG and infant blood gas measures were not correlated with MRI score.

Conclusion: Metabolic measures from initial infant blood gases were most associated with the clinical neurological examination severity and can be used to evaluate hypoxic-ischemic cerebral injury risk.

MeSH terms

  • Fetal Blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain* / diagnosis
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases*
  • Retrospective Studies