Despite substantial progress in neonatal care over the past two decades leading to improved survival of extremely premature infants, extreme prematurity continues to be associated with long term neurodevelopmental impairments. Cerebral white matter injury is the predominant form of insult in preterm brain leading to adverse neurological consequences. Such brain injury pattern and unfavorable neurologic sequelae is commonly encountered in premature infants exposed to systemic inflammatory states such as clinical or culture proven sepsis with or without evidence of meningitis, prolonged mechanical ventilation, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis and chorioamnionitis. Underlying mechanisms may include cytokine mediated processes without direct entry of pathogens into the brain, developmental differences in immune response and complex neurovascular barrier system that play a critical role in regulating the cerebral response to various systemic inflammatory insults in premature infants. Understanding of these pathologic mechanisms and clinical correlates of such injury based on serum biomarkers or brain imaging findings on magnetic resonance imaging will pave way for future research and translational therapeutic opportunities for the developing brain.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Patra, Aparna; Huang, Hong; Bauer, John A.; and Giannone, Peter J., "Neurological Consequences of Systemic Inflammation in the Premature Neonate" (2017). Pediatrics Faculty Publications. 264.