J Pediatr Neurol 2019; 17(03): 105-110
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1621725
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Lactate Dehydrogenase, Aspartate Aminotransferase, and Alanine Aminotransferase Cord Serum Levels as Early Markers of Hypoxic–Ischemic Encephalopathy in Babies with Severe Perinatal Asphyxia

Tolulope Ogundele
1  Department of Paediatrics, State Specialist Hospital, Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria
,
Saheed Babajide A. Oseni
2  Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
,
Joshua A. Owa
2  Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
,
Olorunfemi Ogundele
3  Department of Community Medicine, State Specialist Hospital, Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

19 October 2017

11 December 2017

Publication Date:
28 January 2018 (eFirst)

Abstract

Perinatal asphyxia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among newborn babies. Severe perinatal asphyxia can be associated with multiple organ dysfunctions resulting in the release of a variety of intracellular enzymes. A major concern is how to identify newborns in need of prompt and aggressive management to minimize the risk of early severe neurological sequelae such as hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy. The present study was performed to determine the relationship between cord serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and severity of perinatal asphyxia among Nigerian newborn babies. This was a prospective, comparative case–control study at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife. Cord blood was collected at delivery for serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase. Each baby was evaluated for the severity of perinatal asphyxia at 1 minute of life using Apgar scores. Apgar score less than 7 at 1 minute was regarded as perinatal asphyxia. The Apgar scores were related to cord serum levels of the enzymes. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for Windows, version 17.0. One hundred and forty babies, comprising 70 babies with and 70 babies without perinatal asphyxia were studied. Thirty-six (51.4%) of the neonates had severe perinatal asphyxia with Apgar score of 3 and below; 15 (41.7%) of the 36 had hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy. The mean of values of each of the three enzymes was statistically significantly higher in babies with perinatal asphyxia compared with controls (p < 0.001 for each enzyme) and in babies with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy than in babies with severe perinatal asphyxia but without hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (p < 0.001). A very high proportion of babies with severe perinatal asphyxia developed hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy. Based on the cord serum enzyme levels, almost all the babies who had hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy would have been identified at delivery. Routine estimation of the cord serum levels of these enzymes among babies with severe perinatal may be used to identify babies who may develop acute serious neurological complications for anticipatory management.