Relevance of urinary S100B protein levels as a short-term prognostic biomarker in asphyxiated infants treated with hypothermia

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The initial diagnosis of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is based on nervous system clinical manifestations. The use of biomarkers to monitor brain injury and evaluate neuroprotective effects allows early intervention and treatment. This study was designed to determine the short-term prognostic significance of urinary S100B calcium-binding protein (S100B) in asphyxiated newborns treated with hypothermia.

An observational prospective study was conducted over a period of 5 years in 31 newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy who received therapeutic hypothermia. The patients were divided into 2 groups: Group A (13 newborns with a normal neurological examination before discharge) and Group B (18 newborns who died during admission or had an abnormal neurologic examination before discharge). Urinary S100B was the main variable, serum S100B and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were considered as secondary variables, and all of them were assessed on the first 3 days of life. The newborns were subsequently divided into groups with normal and abnormal electrophysiological and imaging findings.

Mean urinary S100B levels were significantly higher in group B than group A on day 1 (10.58 ± 14.82 vs 4.65 ± 9.16 μg/L, P = .031) and day 2 (5.16 ± 7.63 vs 0.88 ± 2.53, P = .002). The optimal cutoff for urinary S100B on day 1 was >1.11 μg/L of (sensitivity, 100%; specificity 60%) for the prediction of neonatal death and < 0.66 μg/L (sensitivity 83% and specificity 70%) for the prediction of a normal neurological examination before discharge. It was not possible to calculate cutoffs with a similar accuracy for serum S100B or NSE. Urinary S100B on day 1 was higher in patients with abnormal magnetic resonance imaging findings (7.89 ± 8.09 vs 4.49 ± 9.14, P = .039) and abnormal positron emission tomography findings (8.60 ± 9.29 vs 4.30 ± 8.28, P  = .038). There were no significant differences in S100B levels between patients with normal and abnormal electroencephalography results.

Urinary S100B measured in the first days of life can predict neonatal death and short-term prognosis in asphyxiated newborns treated with hypothermia. The method is convenient, noninvasive, and has a higher sensitivity and specificity than measurement of serum S100B or NSE.

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