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Vitamin D as an Adjuvant Therapy in Neonatal Hypoxia: Is it Beneficial?

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Background: Neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a potentially devastating disorder associated with significant mortality and long-term morbidity.

Objective: The aim of this study was to study the role of vitamin D as an adjuvant therapy for management of neonatal HIE.

Patients and Methods: This study was carried out on 60 neonates with HIE grade II who were diagnosed according to modified Sarnat staging and were divided in to 2 groups: Group I: Included 30 neonates with Sarnat grade II HIE who received single daily oral dose of vitamin D3 (1000 IU) for 2 weeks in addition to daily subcutaneous (SC) human recombinant erythropoietin (2500 IU/kg) for 5 days and IM or IV magnesium sulphate 250 mg/kg within half an hour of birth, and subsequently 125 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours of life. Group II: Included 30 neonates with HIE grade II who received erythropoietin and magnesium sulphate as group I but without vitamin D. Two blood samples were taken from all neonates included in both groups; the 1st at diagnosis and the 2nd after 2 weeks of therapy. This study included also 30 healthy neonates as a control group. All neonates included in this study were subjected to: complete clinical examination with assessment of Apgar score at 5 and 10 minutes, measurement of arterial blood gases and serum 25 (OH) vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, S100-B and IL-17 levels.

Results: Before therapy, there were no significant differences between group I and II in PH, PO2 and PCO2 (p= 0.294, 0.462, 0.758 respectively), but after 2 weeks of therapy, there were significantly higher PH levels in group I compared with group II (p <0.001) while there were no significant differences between group I and II regarding PO2 and PCO2. Before therapy, there were no significant differences in serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels between group I and II while there were significantly lower serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels in group I and II compared with controls (P1; comparison between group I and II = 0.742, P2; comparison between group I and controls = 0.001 and P3; comparison between group II and controls = 0. 001). There were no significant differences between group I and II and between group I and II and control as regard serum calcium (P1= 0.943, P2= 0.875 and P3= 0.764) and phosphorus (P1= 0.862, P2= 0.921, P3= 0.786). There were no significant differences between group I and II regarding serum IL-17 levels while there were significantly lower serum IL-17 levels in group I and II compared with controls (P1 = 0.457, P2 = 0.043 and P3 = 0.023). Before therapy, there were no significant differences in serum S100-B levels between group I and II while there were significantly higher serum S100-B levels in group I and II compared with control (P1 = 0.381, P2 = 0.001 and P3= 0.001) but after therapy, there were significantly higher S100-B levels in group II compared with group I and significantly higher S100-B levels in group I and II compared with control (P1= 0.001, P2= 0.043, P3 = 0.001). There were significant negative correlations in group I between serum S100-B and PH and between S100-B and serum vitamin D before and after therapy.

Conclusion: Vitamin D was found to improve the cases of group I as demonstrated by the reduction of serum S100-B levels after vitamin D therapy.

Recommendations: Extensive multicenter studies are required on a large number of patients with Sarnat grade II HIE with longer duration of follow up to give valid recommendations about the use of vitamin D as an adjuvant therapy in Sarnat grade II HIE.
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Keywords: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; S100-B; Vitamin D status; erythropoietin; neonates; seizures

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.
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