Background: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) commonly leads to neurodevelopmental impairment, raising the need for prognostic tools which may guide future therapies in time. Prognostic value of proton MR spectroscopy (H-MRS) between 1 and 46 days of age has been extensively studied; however, the reproducibility and generalizability of these methods are controversial in a general clinical setting. Therefore, we investigated the prognostic performance of conventional H-MRS during first 96 postnatal hours in hypothermia-treated asphyxiated neonates. Methods: Fifty-one consecutive hypothermia-treated HIE neonates were examined by H-MRS at three echo-times (TE = 35, 144, 288 ms) between 6 and 96 h of age, depending on clinical stability. Patients were divided into favorable (n = 35) and unfavorable (n = 16) outcome groups based on psychomotor and mental developmental index (PDI and MDI, Bayley Scales of Infant Development II) scores (≥ 70 versus < 70 or death, respectively), assessed at 18-26 months of age. Associations between 36 routinely measured metabolite ratios and outcome were studied. Age-dependency of metabolite ratios in whole patient population was assessed. Prognostic performance of metabolite ratios was evaluated by Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis. Results: Three metabolite ratios showed significant difference between outcome groups after correction for multiple testing (p < 0.0014): myo-inositol (mIns)/N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) height, mIns/creatine (Cr) height, both at TE = 35 ms, and NAA/Cr height at TE = 144 ms. Assessment of age-dependency showed that all 3 metabolite ratios (mIns/NAA, NAA/Cr and mIns/Cr) stayed constant during first 96 postnatal hours, rendering them optimal for prediction. ROC analysis revealed that mIns/NAA gives better prediction for outcome than NAA/Cr and mIns/Cr with cut-off values 0.6798 0.6274 and 0.7798, respectively, (AUC 0.9084, 0.8396 and 0.8462, respectively, p < 0.00001); mIns/NAA had the highest specificity (95.24%) and sensitivity (84.62%) for predicting outcome of neonates with HIE any time during the first 96 postnatal hours. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that during first 96 h of age even conventional H-MRS could be a useful prognostic tool in predicting the outcome of asphyxiated neonates; mIns/NAA was found to be the best and age-independent predictor.
- Conventional sequence
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
- Neurodevelopmental outcome
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health