Objective: To assess the hemodynamic safety and efficacy of umbilical cord milking (UCM) compared with early cord clamping (ECC) in nonvigorous newborn infants enrolled in a large multicenter randomized cluster-crossover trial.
Study design: Two hundred twenty-seven nonvigorous term or near-term infants who were enrolled in the parent UCM vs ECC trial consented for this substudy. An echocardiogram was performed at 12 ± 6 hours of age by ultrasound technicians blinded to randomization. The primary outcome was left ventricular output (LVO). Prespecified secondary outcomes included measured superior vena cava (SVC) flow, right ventricular output (RVO), peak systolic strain, and peak systolic velocity by tissue Doppler examination of the RV lateral wall and the interventricular septum.
Results: Nonvigorous infants receiving UCM had increased hemodynamic echocardiographic parameters as measured by higher LVO (225 ± 64 vs 187 ± 52 mL/kg/min; P < .001), RVO (284 ± 88 vs 222 ± 96 mL/kg/min; P < .001), and SVC flow (100 ± 36 vs 86 ± 40 mL/kg/min; P < .001) compared with the ECC group. Peak systolic strain was lower (-17 ± 3 vs -22 ± 3%; P < .001), but there was no difference in peak tissue Doppler flow (0.06 m/s [IQR, 0.05-0.07 m/s] vs 0.06 m/s [IQR, 0.05-0.08 m/s]).
Conclusions: UCM increased cardiac output (as measured by LVO) compared with ECC in nonvigorous newborns. Overall increases in measures of cerebral and pulmonary blood flow (as measured by SVC and RVO flow, respectively) may explain improved outcomes associated with UCM (less cardiorespiratory support at birth and fewer cases of moderate-to-severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) among nonvigorous newborn infants.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03798093.
Keywords: delayed cord clamping; early cord clamping; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
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