Background: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an important contributor to disability worldwide. The current cardiotocography (CTG) predictive value for neonatal outcome is limited. Objective: To assess the association of intrapartum CTG deceleration and acceleration areas with early MRI cerebral pathology in infants with HIE. Methods: Term and near-term low-risk pregnancies that resulted in HIE, treated with therapeutic hypothermia with sufficient CTG records from a single, tertiary hospital between 2013 and 2021 were enrolled. Accelerations and decelerations areas, their minimum and maximum depths, and duration were calculated as well as the acceleration-to-deceleration area ratio during the 120 min prior to delivery. These data were assessed for associations with higher degrees of abnormality on early MRI scans. Results: A total of 77 infants were included in the final analysis. Significant associations between increased total acceleration area (p = 0.007) and between a higher acceleration-to-deceleration area ratio (p = 0.003) and better MRI results were detected. Conclusion: In neonates treated for HIE, acceleration area and acceleration-to-deceleration ratio are associated with the risk of neonatal brain MRI abnormalities. To increase the role of these measurements as a relevant clinical tool, larger, more powered prospective trials are needed, using computerized real-time analysis. Impact: The current cardiotocography predictive value for neonatal outcome is limited.This study aimed to assess the association of intrapartum deceleration and acceleration areas with the degree of cerebral injury in early cerebral MRI of neonates with encephalopathy.Lower acceleration area and acceleration-to-deceleration ratio were found to be associated with a higher degree of neonatal brain injury.Brain MRI is a marker of long-term outcome; its association with cardiotocography indices supports their association with long-term outcome in these neonates.Future computer-based CTG area analysis could assist in delivery room decision making to better time interventions and prevent hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health