BACKGROUND: The added clinical value of multisite near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) monitoring to detect low organ tissue perfusion in preterm infants at risk of circulatory failure remains unclear.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the associations between multisite NIRS measurements and clinical signs of circulatory failure in relation to short-term outcome in preterm infants with clinical sepsis.
METHODS: Prospective cohort study of preterm infants (gestational age <32 weeks) with clinical sepsis. We monitored cerebral, renal, and intestinal oxygen saturation using NIRS for 72 h following sepsis workup and calculated fractional tissue oxygen extraction (FTOE). We recorded clinical signs of circulatory failure every 8 h. We analyzed the associations between FTOE values, clinical signs of circulatory failure, and short-term outcome.
RESULTS: In 28 preterm infants with clinical sepsis, intraindividual and interindividual associations between NIRS values and clinical signs of circulatory failure were weak. At several points of time during the study period, cerebral and renal FTOE were higher in infants who developed intestinal complications compared with infants who did not, while clinical signs of circulatory failure never differed between groups. After correcting for multiple testing, significant differences disappeared.
CONCLUSIONS: The associations between multisite FTOE values and clinical signs of circulatory failure were weak in preterm infants with clinical sepsis. Nevertheless, in contrast to clinical signs of circulatory failure, cerebral and renal FTOE values were associated with adverse short-term intestinal outcome in the uncorrected analyses. Multisite NIRS monitoring might help to detect critically low tissue oxygen delivery leading to adverse intestinal outcome not detected by routine hemodynamic measurements.