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Pediatr Neurol. 2008 Mar;38(3):181-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.10.008.

Oxidative stress in perinatal asphyxia.

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  • 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. ashokkumar_bhu@hotmail.com

Abstract

Oxygen free radicals may cause tissue injury in perinatal asphyxia. We measured plasma and cerebrospinal fluid levels of malondialdehyde and plasma levels of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase in 50 term newborns with perinatal asphyxia and eight newborns without asphyxia. Neonates with sepsis, major congenital malformations, and hemolytic disease were excluded. The levels of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid malondialdehyde, as well as of plasma glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase, were significantly higher in newborns with perinatal asphyxia, and demonstrated a progressive increase with greater severity of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Higher levels of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid malondialdehyde and plasma catalase were documented in newborns who died from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, compared with those who survived, but no such difference was found in plasma levels of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. The data of the present study suggest that, despite the increased activities of antioxidant enzymes in perinatal asphyxia, these neonates experience higher degrees of oxidative stress, as evidenced by increased levels of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid malondialdehyde. Hence, oxygen free radicals can be considered to play a significant role in the pathophysiology of perinatal asphyxia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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