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Acta Paediatr Scand. 1985 Jul;74(4):595-600.

Myocardial ischaemia in asphyxia neonatorum. Electrocardiographic, enzymatic and histological correlations.


Serial electrocardiograms and creatine kinase (CK) isoenzyme activities were studied prospectively in 20 asphyxiated term newborn infants and 43 normal neonates. By adapting a previously described grading system for ischaemic changes, a degree of electrocardiographic ischaemia was defined which occurred almost solely in asphyxiated infants. Infants with this degree of abnormality had significantly higher mean CK-MB and MM activities than other asphyxiated infants at 0, 8 and 28 hours. Histological changes of peripartum myocardial necrosis were seen in 4 of the 5 infants on whom an autopsy was performed, and either electrocardiogram or CK-MB was abnormal in all four. It is concluded that myocardial injury in the newborn period is often associated with CK-MB release, but in view of the lack of cardiac-specificity of CK-MB in newborn infants, caution is urged in the interpretation of elevated isoenzyme activity in the neonate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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