Complement fragment C3a in plasma of asphyxiated neonates
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Recent clinical studies with adult polytrauma patients indicate that elevated plasma levels of anaphylatoxin C3a correlate with the subsequent development of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, there are no parameters which allow a reliable diagnosis of ARDS in neonates. As the most predisposing condition for ARDS seems to be shock, plasma C3a was determined in 30 ventilated premature infants and neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (birth weights 660–3350 g) within the first 24 h post partum or 6–24 h after acute asphyxia or shock during the neonatal period. The range of C3a, measured by ELISA, was between 57 and 1000 ng/ml. In the asphyxia group (n=15) peak levels of C3a in plasma (mean 388 ng/ml) were significantly higher (P<0.001) than in the control group (mean 153 ng/ml). In some neonates with suspected ARDS, additional samples were taken. A rise in C3a between days 2 and 8 was associated with a fatal outcome of the disease. As in adults, C3a might be a useful indicator for ARDS in neonates.
Key wordsNeonates Complement Anaphylatoxin C3a ARDS
adult or acquired respiratory distress syndrome
idiopathic or infantile respiratory distress syndrome
respiratory distress syndrome
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