Nucleated red blood cell counts: not associated with brain injury or outcome.

Pediatric neurology

PubMedID: 14643387

Hamrick SE, Miller SP, Newton NR, Parer JT, Ferriero DM, Barkovich AJ, Partridge JC. Nucleated red blood cell counts: not associated with brain injury or outcome. Pediatr Neurol. 2003;29(4):278-83.
The objective was to determine whether an elevated nucleated red blood cell count at birth after perinatal depression is associated with brain injury as measured by (1) proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and (2) abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome at 30 months of age. The nucleated red blood cell counts from the first 24 hours of life were statistically analyzed in 33 term infants enrolled in a prospective study of the value of magnetic resonance imaging for the determination of neurodevelopmental outcome after perinatal depression. Nucleated red blood cell counts were elevated in 13/33 (39%). Abnormal outcome (19/33, 54%) was associated with Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology-Perinatal Extension (P = 0.04), decreased N-acetylaspartate to choline ratio in the basal ganglia (P = 0.009), and increased lactate to choline ratio in the basal ganglia (P = 0.02), but not with cord pH, Apgar score, or nucleated red blood cell value. In a logistic regression model, increasing nucleated red blood cell counts did not increase the odds of an abnormal outcome at 30 months of age (OR 1.02, P = 0.17). In a population of neonates with perinatal depression, the nucleated red blood cell count at birth does not correlate with magnetic resonance spectroscopy or 30-month neurodevelopmental outcome. The nucleated red blood cell count should not be used as a surrogate marker for subsequent brain injury.