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The aim of this study was to determine whether patterns of increases in serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels at birth were associated with the development of white matter injury (WMI) in preterm infants with a fetal inflammatory response (FIR).One hundred infants who were born at <32 weeks gestation and had funisitis, as determined by histological evidence of FIR, were studied. Infants were divided into four groups according to IL-6 and CRP levels at birth, with cut-off values of 200 pg/mL and 0.4 mg/dL, respectively. We compared the incidence of WMI, determined by MRI at term-equivalent age, among these groups.The number of infants in each group was 12, 43, 0, and 45 in the high IL-6 and high CRP (HH) group, high IL-6 and low CRP (HL) group, low IL-6 and high CRP (LH) group, and low IL-6 and low CRP (LL) group, respectively. The incidence of WMI was significantly higher in the HH group than in the HL group and LL group (83%, 40%, and 34%, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that a combined elevation in IL-6 and CRP levels was an independent predictor for the development of WMI (odds ratio, 8.3).A combined elevation in serum IL-6 and CRP levels at birth was associated with the development of WMI in preterm infants with FIR.