Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in full-term neonates: current state of the problem

D.M. Surkov


The article presents a systematic review of the researches on hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which develops in infants after perinatal ischemia. It remains a significant challenge for neonatal intensive care because of high mortality and neurological disabilities in children, despite some progress in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. The main goal of therapy is to support adequate cerebral perfusion and to prevent secondary neuronal damage, including the apoptosis development. Among the methods for the diagnosis and monitoring of neurological disorders in neonates, the main ones are: brain ultrasound and Doppler evaluation of cerebral blood flow patterns, near-infrared spectrometry monitoring in conjunction with amplitude-integrated electroencephalography. At the moment, the only method of intensive care with proven neuroprotection is therapeutic hypothermia 33–35 °C for 72 hours. Nevertheless, its efficacy is still insufficient, reducing the combined outcome of death or severe neurodevelopmental impairment from 65 to 40–50 %. While the benefits of therapeutic hypothermia provide proof that outcomes can be better, additional treatments to further improve outcomes are needed. The new mode of ventilation, neurally adjusted ventilatory assist, is promising for respiratory support in newborns with HIE. The ideal fluid for the blood volume replacement in newborns hasn’t yet been found. Crystalloids because of low replacement coefficient have unstable impact on cardiac output. The use of albumin is restricted due to high blood-brain barrier permeability in HIE. The possibility of using 6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.42 has been considered, as recent studies have not demonstrated additional risks compared to crystalloids. Dopamine is still considered as a drug of choice in infants, but several studies show the benefits of dobutamine effects on systemic and cerebral hemodynamics. Searching for other agents for secondary neuroprotection has shown some benefits of erythropoietin, but the number of observations is limited. Other drugs are still ongoing preclinical and clinical studies of phase I and II.


review; newborns; hypoxia; encephalopathy; neuroprotection


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