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      Amniotic fluid inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α), neonatal brain white matter lesions, and cerebral palsy

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          Interleukin-6 concentrations in umbilical cord plasma are elevated in neonates with white matter lesions associated with periventricular leukomalacia.

          Periventricular leukomalacia, a common brain white matter lesion in preterm neonates, is a major risk factor for cerebral palsy. Recently, cytokines (i.e., tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1(beta)) have been implicated as mediators for the development of periventricular leukomalacia. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between umbilical cord plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1(beta), interleukin-6, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and the occurrence of periventricular leukomalacia in preterm neonates. Umbilical cord blood was collected from 172 consecutive preterm births (25 to 36 weeks). Periventricular leukomalacia-associated lesions were diagnosed by brain ultrasonography within the first 3 days of life. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1(beta) interleukin-6, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist were measured by sensitive and specific enzyme-linked immunoassay methods. Umbilical cord arterial pH was measured at birth. Statistical analysis was performed with multiple logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Periventricular leukomalacia-associated lesions were present in 14.5% (25/172) of infants. Plasma concentrations of interleukin-6 but not of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1(beta), and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist were significantly higher in neonates with periventricular leukomalacia-associated lesions than in those without these lesions (median 718, range or = 400 pg/ml had a sensitivity of 72% (18/25) and a specificity of 74% (108/147) in the identification of periventricular leukomalacia-associated lesions. Multivariate analysis showed that umbilical cord interleukin-6 was an independent risk factor for periventricular leukomalacia (odds ratio 6.2, p < 0.002) after correction for known confounding variables (i.e., gestational age at birth, umbilical artery pH, chorioamnionitis). Interleukin-6 concentrations in umbilical cord plasma are elevated in neonates with periventricular leukomalacia-associated lesions. Our data support the hypothesis that periventricular leukomalacia may be the result of cytokine-mediated brain injury.
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            Reduced incidence of preterm delivery with metronidazole and erythromycin in women with bacterial vaginosis.

            Pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis may be at increased risk for preterm delivery. We investigated whether treatment with metronidazole and erythromycin during the second trimester would lower the incidence of delivery before 37 weeks' gestation. In 624 pregnant women at risk for delivering prematurely, vaginal and cervical cultures and other laboratory tests for bacterial vaginosis were performed at a mean of 22.9 weeks' gestation. We then performed a 2:1 double-blind randomization to treatment with metronidazole and erythromycin (433 women) or placebo (191 women). After treatment, the vaginal and cervical tests were repeated and a second course of treatment was given to women who had bacterial vaginosis at that time (a mean of 27.6 weeks' gestation). A total of 178 women (29 percent) delivered infants at less than 37 weeks' gestation. Eight women were lost to follow-up. In the remaining population, 110 of the 426 women assigned to metronidazole and erythromycin (26 percent) delivered prematurely, as compared with 68 of the 190 assigned to placebo (36 percent, P = 0.01). However, the association between the study treatment and lower rates of prematurity was observed only among the 258 women who had bacterial vaginosis (rate of preterm delivery, 31 percent with treatment vs. 49 percent with placebo; P = 0.006). Of the 358 women who did not have bacterial vaginosis when initially examined, 22 percent of those assigned to metronidazole and erythromycin and 25 percent of those assigned to placebo delivered prematurely (P = 0.55). The lower rate of preterm delivery among the women with bacterial vaginosis who were assigned to the study treatment was observed both in women at risk because of previous preterm delivery (preterm delivery in the treatment group, 39 percent; and in the placebo group, 57 percent; P = 0.02) and in women who weighed less than 50 kg before pregnancy (preterm delivery in the treatment group, 14 percent; and in the placebo group, 33 percent; P = 0.04). Treatment with metronidazole and erythromycin reduced rates of premature delivery in women with bacterial vaginosis and an increased risk for preterm delivery.
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              Case-control study of antenatal and intrapartum risk factors for cerebral palsy in very preterm singleton babies.

              The increase in survival of very preterm babies during the 1980s was accompanied by a sharp increase in the rate of cerebral palsy in this group. The relation between antenatal and intrapartum factors and cerebral palsy in such babies has not been well defined. To identify adverse and protective antenatal and intrapartum factors we undertook a case-control study of 59 very preterm babies who developed cerebral palsy, identified from a population-based register, and 234 randomly selected controls. The frequency of cerebral palsy decreased with increasing gestational age and birthweight. Antenatal complications occurred in 215 (73%) of the women with preterm deliveries. Factors associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy after adjustment for gestational age were chorioamnionitis (odds ratio 4.2 [95% CI 1.4-12.0]) prolonged rupture of membranes (2.3 [1.2-4.2]), and maternal infection (2.3 [1.2-4..5]). Pre-eclampsia was associated with a reduced risk of cerebral palsy (0.4 [0.2-0.9]), as was delivery without labour (0.3 [0.2-0.7]). There was no increased risk of cerebral palsy with intrauterine growth retardation (1.0 [0.9-1.1]). The effect of rigorous management of adverse antenatal factors on the frequency of cerebral palsy in very preterm babies should be tested in randomised controlled trials.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
                American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
                Elsevier BV
                00029378
                July 1997
                July 1997
                : 177
                : 1
                : 19-26
                Article
                10.1016/S0002-9378(97)70432-0
                © 1997

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