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Early assessment of injury with optical markers in a piglet model of neonatal encephalopathy.

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Harvey-Jones, Kelly 
Lange, Frederic 
Verma, Vinita 
Bale, Gemma 
Meehan, Christopher 


BACKGROUND: Opportunities for adjunct therapies with cooling in neonatal encephalopathy are imminent; however, robust biomarkers of early assessment are lacking. Using an optical platform of broadband near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy to directly measure mitochondrial metabolism (oxCCO), oxygenation (HbD), cerebral blood flow (CBF), we hypothesised optical indices early (1-h post insult) after hypoxia-ischaemia (HI) predicts insult severity and outcome. METHODS: Nineteen newborn large white piglets underwent continuous neuromonitoring as controls or following moderate or severe HI. Optical indices were expressed as mean semblance (phase difference) and coherence (spectral similarity) between signals using wavelet analysis. Outcome markers included the lactate/N-acetyl aspartate (Lac/NAA) ratio at 6 h on proton MRS and TUNEL cell count. RESULTS: CBF-HbD semblance (cerebrovascular dysfunction) correlated with BGT and white matter (WM) Lac/NAA (r2 = 0.46, p = 0.004, r2 = 0.45, p = 0.004, respectively), TUNEL cell count (r2 = 0.34, p = 0.02) and predicted both initial insult (r2 = 0.62, p = 0.002) and outcome group (r2 = 0.65 p = 0.003). oxCCO-HbD semblance (cerebral metabolic dysfunction) correlated with BGT and WM Lac/NAA (r2 = 0.34, p = 0.01 and r2 = 0.46, p = 0.002, respectively) and differentiated between outcome groups (r2 = 0.43, p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Optical markers of both cerebral metabolic and vascular dysfunction 1 h after HI predicted injury severity and subsequent outcome in a pre-clinical model. IMPACT: This study highlights the possibility of using non-invasive optical biomarkers for early assessment of injury severity following neonatal encephalopathy, relating to the outcome. Continuous cot-side monitoring of these optical markers can be useful for disease stratification in the clinical population and for identifying infants who might benefit from future adjunct neuroprotective therapies beyond cooling.



Infant, Humans, Animals, Swine, Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain, Neuroprotection, Biomarkers, Brain, Animals, Newborn

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Pediatr Res

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC