Foetal growth, birth transition, enteral nutrition and brain light scattering

Osuke Iwata, Sachiko Iwata, Tsuyoshi Kurata, Kennosuke Tsuda, Koya Kawase, Masahiro Kinoshita, Yung Chieh Lin, Mamoru Saikusa, Yuko Araki, Sachio Takashima, Motoki Oda, Etsuko Ohmae, Shiji Saitoh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


If the brain structure is assessed at neonatal intensive care units, covert clinical events related with subtle brain injury might be identified. The reduced scattering coefficient of near-infrared light (μS’) obtained using time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy from the forehead of infants is associated with gestational age, body weight and Apgar scores, presumably reflecting subtle changes of the brain related to foetal growth and birth transition. One hundred twenty-eight preterm and term infants were studied to test whether μS’ obtained from the head at term-equivalent age is associated with foetal growth, birth transition and nutritional status after birth, which are key independent variables of developmental outcomes. As potential independent variables of μS’, birth weight, Apgar scores, age at full enteral feeding and post-conceptional age at the study were assessed to represent foetal growth, birth transition and nutritional status after birth. Subsequently, higher μS’ values were associated with higher Apgar scores (p = 0.003) and earlier establishment of enteral feeding (p < 0.001). The scattering property of near-infrared light within the neonatal brain might reflect changes associated with birth transition and nutritional status thereafter, which might be used as a non-invasive biomarker to identify covert independent variables of brain injury in preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21318
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


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