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      Role of selected cytokines in the etiopathogenesis of intraventricular hemorrhage in preterm newborns

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          Proinflammatory cytokines are essential mediators and indicators of an inflammatory process occurring in the body. Their physiological role is to stimulate the immune response, yet their excessive propagation and interaction with cells outside the immune system may be linked to the risk of organ damage. This is specifically important in the case of immature tissues of fetuses and prematurely born infants. Analysis of the concentrations of specific cytokines in different compartments makes it possible to assess the risk of premature birth, preterm rupture of the membranes, and to determine an existing intrauterine infection. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the existing research concerning the relationships between the concentrations of specific proinflammatory cytokines in different compartments (maternal blood serum, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, arterial and venous blood, and cerebrospinal fluid of the newborn) and the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and the degree of its severity. The paper takes also into account the assessment of the usefulness of cytokines as biomarkers for IVH and its complications (posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, white matter injury).

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          Most cited references 31

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          Maternal serum interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 concentrations as risk factors for preterm birth <32 weeks and adverse neonatal outcomes.

          Elevated concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in fetal and neonatal compartments have been associated with an increased risk for preterm birth (PTB) and/or neonatal morbidity. The purpose of this study was to determine if the maternal serum concentration of IL-6, CRP, and MMP-9 in women at risk for PTB, who are not in labor and have intact membranes, are associated with an increased risk for PTB 90th percentile). However, there was no significant association after adjustment for GA at randomization and treatment group. Logistic regression analysis for each analyte indicated that high maternal serum concentrations of IL-6 and CRP, but not MMP-9, were associated with an increased risk of IVH (odds ratio [OR] 4.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.86 to 10.68; OR 4.07, 95% CI 1.63 to 9.50) after adjusting for GA at randomization and treatment group. Most babies (25/30) had grade I IVH. When GA at delivery was included, elevated IL-6 remained significantly associated with IVH (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.02 to 7.09). An elevated maternal serum concentration of IL-6 and CRP are risk factors for PTB <32 weeks and subsequent development of neonatal IVH. An elevated maternal serum IL-6 appears to confer additional risk for IVH even after adjusting for GA at delivery. Copyright Thieme Medical Publishers.
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            Intrauterine infection and the development of cerebral palsy.

            Cerebral palsy is a serious motor disorder that appears in early life. The expectation that improved obstetrical and neonatal care would decrease the rate of this condition has not been realised. Recent evidence indicates that white matter brain lesions, often termed periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), are the most important identifiable risk factors for the development of cerebral palsy. The hypothesis under examination is that inflammatory cytokines released during the course of intrauterine infection play a central role in the genesis of preterm parturition, fetal PVL, and cerebral palsy. We examined the relationship between umbilical cord plasma concentrations of cytokines at birth and the occurrence of PVL in preterm gestation and demonstrated that umbilical cord plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6 was a significant independent predictor of PVL-associated lesions. We also demonstrated that preterm neonates born to mothers with elevated amniotic fluid concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines were at increased risk for the subsequent development of PVL and cerebral palsy. Histological chorioamnionitis and congenital neonatal infection-related morbidity were more common in neonates with PVL than those without PVL in this study. We have also been able to induce PVL-like brain white matter lesions in the fetal rabbit after experimental ascending intrauterine infection. In support of this hypothesis, we were able to demonstrate overexpression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and IL-6 in histological sections of neonatal brains with PVL. Moreover, the presence of funisitis, a histological counterpart of the fetal inflammatory response syndrome, and elevated concentrations of amniotic fluid IL-6 and IL-8 were strong and independent risk factors for the subsequent development of cerebral palsy at the age of 3 years in our recent study. Therefore, clinical and experimental data provide strong support for the hypothesis. There are significant implications of our findings. First, cytokine determinations in amniotic fluid provide information about the risk of PVL and cerebral palsy before birth. Second, the process responsible for some cases of PVL and cerebral palsy begins during intrauterine life, implying that effective strategies for the prevention of cerebral palsy associated with PVL must begin in utero.
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              Population cohort associating chorioamnionitis, cord inflammatory cytokines and neurologic outcome in very preterm, extremely low birth weight infants.

              Intrauterine inflammation may relate to neurologic disability among preterm children. We investigated the relationship between chorioamnionitis, cord serum cytokines, and neurologic outcome. Sixty-one consecutively born very preterm extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants were prospectively enrolled. Histologic inflammation in placenta and umbilical cord and vascular pathology were evaluated. Cord sera were analyzed for five proinflammatory cytokines. Serial brain ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging were performed for evaluation of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH grade I-III) and white matter damage (WMD: cystic periventricular leukomalacia or IVH grade IV). Neurologic and neurocognitive outcomes were assessed at the corrected age of 2 y. The incidences of HCA, WMD, and abnormal neurologic outcome were 48%, 13% and 19%, respectively. HCA or high IL-6 in cord serum predicted spontaneous preterm labor with high accuracy. HCA increased the risk of IVH grade II-III. In HCA, without either clinical chorioamnionitis or histologic placental perfusion defect, the children had a low risk of WMD (0%) and a low risk of abnormal neurologic outcome (6%). In HCA, the concentration of IL-6 in cord serum was lower in children with abnormal neurologic outcome than in children with normal neurologic outcome. In HCA and placental perfusion defect (compound defect) the risk of abnormal neurologic outcome was high. Compound placental defect and WMD additively predicted abnormal neurologic outcome. We propose that HCA together with other insults (placental perfusion defect or maternal systemic infection) increases the risk of poor neurologic outcome in very preterm ELBW infants.

                Author and article information

                +48502145181 ,
                Childs Nerv Syst
                Childs Nerv Syst
                Child's Nervous System
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                19 August 2016
                19 August 2016
                : 32
                : 11
                : 2097-2103
                [1 ]Chair and Department of Neonatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
                [2 ]Department of Neonatology, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, ul. Polna 33, Poznań, Poland
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                premature birth, intraventricular hemorrhage, proinflammatory cytokines


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