To determine the predictive value of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) concentrations on the outcome of hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) in full term infants.Methods
Thirty term infants with HIE were included in the study. HIE was classified according to the criteria of Sarnat and Sarnat. Blood and CSF were obtained within the first 24 hours of life and stored until assay. Five infants died soon after hypoxic insult. Neurological examinations and Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) were performed at 12 months in the survivors.Results
At the age of 12 months neurological examination and DDST showed that 11 infants were normal; 14 had abnormal neurological findings and/or an abnormal DDST result. Eleven normal infants were classified as group 1 and 19 infants (14 with abnormal neurological findings and/or an abnormal DDST and five who died) as group 2. CSF IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha concentrations in group 2 were significantly higher than those in group 1. Plasma IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. IL-1 beta, but not TNF-alpha concentrations, in group 2 were even higher than those in group 1, although non-survivors were excluded from group 2. When the patients were evaluated according to the stages of Sarnat, the difference in the three groups was again significant. Patients whose CSF samples were taken within 6 hours of the hypoxic insult had higher IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha concentrations than the patients whose samples were taken after 6 hours.Conclusions
Both cytokines probably contribute to the damage sustained by the central nervous system after hypoxic insult. IL-1 beta seems to be a better predictor of HIE than TNF-alpha.