AIM: To explore the relationships between blood gas derangements and blood concentrations of inflammation-related proteins shortly after preterm birth.
DESIGN: Observational cohort.
SETTING: Fourteen neonatal intensive care units.
SUBJECTS: Seven hundred and forty five infants born before the 28th week of gestation who were classified by their blood gas derangements during the first three postnatal days and by the concentrations of 25 proteins in their blood on days 1, 7, and 14. We classified these newborns by whether or not they had a highest or lowest PaO2, PCO2, and lowest pH in the most extreme quartile, and by whether or not they had a protein concentration in the highest quartile.
RESULTS: Blood gas derangements on two days were much more likely to be accompanied or followed by sustained or recurrent systemic inflammation than a derangement on only one day. This was most evident for acidemia, and slightly less so for hypercapnia.
CONCLUSIONS: Our finding that protein concentration patterns indicative of systemic inflammation are associated with several blood gas derangements raises the possibility that organ damage attributed to these derangements might be accompanied by or involve an inflammatory response.