Use of Opioids in Asphyxiated Term Neonates: Effect on Brain Metabolites and Outcomes
Angeles D, Wycliffe N, Holshouser B, Carr C, Sowers L, Deming D, Ashwal S
Loma Linda University
To examine the hypothesis that opioids administered during the first week of life can decrease the severity of neurological injury in term-asphyxiated newborns, we compared metabolite data from proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in control, opioid-treated and non-treated neonates. Glutamate/glutamine (Glx) and choline (Cho) ratios correlated with tissue-damaging procedures (TDPs) in the first 4 days of life. NAA ratios were significantly decreased and lactate was present in 39% of non-opioid treated neonates (p <0.05). MRS metabolite data measured in the first 3 weeks after injury correlate with neurological outcome. Our results suggest that opioids may be neuroprotective after neonatal asphyxia.