Marker IDs Injury in Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Neonates with HIE treated with whole-body cooling have high serum glial fibrillary acidic protein

MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) treated with whole-body cooling have increased serum glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) during the first week of life, which may be predictive of brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Christopher S. Ennen, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated whether serum GFAP was increased in neonates with HIE treated with whole-body cooling. GFAP was measured at birth and daily for up to seven days. Neonates with HIE treated with whole-body cooling were compared with neonates with HIE by brain abnormalities on MRI, and with gestational age-matched controls without neurological injury.

The investigators found that, compared to controls, neonates with HIE had increased GFAP levels. The GFAP levels were elevated in neonates with HIE and abnormal brain MRI compared to neonates with HIE and normal MRI.

"GFAP may serve as a biomarker to identify and monitor neonates with clinical HIE receiving cooling therapy. Its predictive ability to identify neonates with brain abnormalities because of HIE is better than currently used clinical indicators," the authors write.

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