Cerebral oxygen saturation and autoregulation during hypotension in extremely preterm infants

Liesbeth Thewissen, Gunnar Naulaers, Dries Hendrikx, Alexander Caicedo, Keith Barrington, Geraldine Boylan, Po Yin Cheung, David Corcoran, Afif El-Khuffash, Aisling Garvey, Jozef Macko, Neil Marlow, Jan Miletin, Colm P.F. O’Donnell, John M. O’Toole, Zbyněk Straňák, David Van Laere, Hana Wiedermannova, Eugene Dempsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of the permissive hypotension approach in clinically well infants on regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rScO2) and autoregulatory capacity (CAR) remains unknown. Methods: Prospective cohort study of blinded rScO2 measurements within a randomized controlled trial of management of hypotension (HIP trial) in extremely preterm infants. rScO2, mean arterial blood pressure, duration of cerebral hypoxia, and transfer function (TF) gain inversely proportional to CAR, were compared between hypotensive infants randomized to receive dopamine or placebo and between hypotensive and non-hypotensive infants, and related to early intraventricular hemorrhage or death. Results: In 89 potentially eligible HIP trial patients with rScO2 measurements, the duration of cerebral hypoxia was significantly higher in 36 hypotensive compared to 53 non-hypotensive infants. In 29/36 hypotensive infants (mean GA 25 weeks, 69% males) receiving the study drug, no significant difference in rScO2 was observed after dopamine (n = 13) compared to placebo (n = 16). Duration of cerebral hypoxia was associated with early intraventricular hemorrhage or death. Calculated TF gain (n = 49/89) was significantly higher reflecting decreased CAR in 16 hypotensive compared to 33 non-hypotensive infants. Conclusions: Dopamine had no effect on rScO2 compared to placebo in hypotensive infants. Hypotension and cerebral hypoxia are associated with early intraventricular hemorrhage or death. Impact: Treatment of hypotension with dopamine in extremely preterm infants increases mean arterial blood pressure, but does not improve cerebral oxygenation.Hypotensive extremely preterm infants have increased duration of cerebral hypoxia and reduced cerebral autoregulatory capacity compared to non-hypotensive infants.Duration of cerebral hypoxia and hypotension are associated with early intraventricular hemorrhage or death in extremely preterm infants.Since systematic treatment of hypotension may not be associated with better outcomes, the diagnosis of cerebral hypoxia in hypotensive extremely preterm infants might guide treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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