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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1997 Nov;39(11):718-25.

Relation of deranged neonatal cerebral oxidative metabolism with neurodevelopmental outcome and head circumference at 4 years.

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Wellhouse NHS Trust, Barnet, Herts, UK.


Cerebral oxidative metabolism was studied using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy during the first week of life and neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at 4 years in 62 infants who had clinical and/or biochemical evidence consistent with birth asphyxia (critically impaired intrapartum gas exchange). Twenty-one died and the neurodevelopmental status of the 41 who survived was assessed by a range of tests at age 4 years. The minimum recorded values for the cerebral phosphocreatine:inorganic phosphate concentration ratio (an index of oxidative metabolism) were related to outcome. The results showed significant relations between the extent of derangement of neonatal oxidative metabolism and a range of adverse outcomes, including death, and at 4 years reduced head growth and the presence and severity of neuromotor impairments, overall neurodevelopmental impairments, and cognitive functioning. Strong correlations between the extent of derangement of neonatal oxidative metabolism and outcome at 1 and 4 years were also shown. We conclude that the severities of adverse outcomes at 1 and 4 years of age were closely related to the extent of cerebral energy derangement in the first week of life, and we also conclude that primary intrapartum hypoxic-ischaemic cerebral injury was generally responsible for the events that led to death, microcephaly, and impaired.

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