Background and Purpose-Preterm infants are at risk of developing germinal matrix hemorrhages-intraventricular hemorrhages (GMH-IVH). Disturbances in cerebral perfusion are associated with GMH-IVH. Regional cerebral tissue oxygen saturation (r(c)SO(2)), measured with near-infrared spectroscopy, and fractional tissue oxygen extraction (FTOE) were calculated to obtain an indication of cerebral perfusion. Our objective was to determine whether r(c)SO(2) and FTOE were associated with GMH-IVH in preterm infants.
Methods-This case-control study included 17 preterm infants with Grade I to III GMH-IVH or periventricular hemorrhagic infarction (median gestational age, 29.4 weeks; range, 25.4 to 31.9 weeks; birth weight, 1260 g; range, 850 to 1840 g). Seventeen preterm infants without GMH-IVH, matched for gestational age and birth weight, served as control subjects (gestational age, 29.9 weeks; range, 26.0 to 31.6 weeks; birth weight, 1310 g; range, 730 to 1975 g). R(c)SO(2) and transcutaneous arterial oxygen saturation were measured during 2 hours on Days 1 to 5, 8, and 15 after birth. FTOE was calculated as FTOE=(transcutaneous arterial oxygen saturation-r(c)SO(2))/transcutaneous arterial oxygen saturation.
Results-Multilevel analyses showed that r(c)SO(2) was lower and FTOE higher in infants with GMH-IVH on Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15. The largest difference occurred on Day 5 with r(c)SO(2) median 64% in infants with GMH-IVH versus 77% in control subjects and FTOE median 0.30 versus 0.17. R(c)SO(2) and FTOE were not affected by the grade of GMH-IVH.
Conclusions-Preterm infants with GMH-IVH had lower r(c)SO(2) and higher FTOE during the first 2 weeks after birth irrespective of the grade of GMH-IVH. This suggests that cerebral perfusion is decreased persistently for 2 weeks in infants with GMH-IVH, even in the presence of mild hemorrhages. (Stroke. 2010;41:2901-2907.)