Autonomic control in preterm infants - what we can learn from mathematical descriptions of vital signs

Jost, Kerstin. Autonomic control in preterm infants - what we can learn from mathematical descriptions of vital signs. 2016, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_12599

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Background: Preterm birth is a major burden, affecting approximately 15 million infants each year. Recent advances in reproductive medicine increases that number even more. The population of preterm infants in particular suffers from autonomic dysregulation that manifests as temperature instability and poor control of heart rate and breathing. Thermal care, monitoring of vital signs in a neonatal intensive care unit, pharmacotherapy, and respiratory support over weeks to months is necessary. Improvements in neonatal care in the past years lead to a decrease in mortality, especially in very preterm infants. However, former preterm infants still are a high-risk population for acute and chronic sequelae as a result of the interruption of the physiological development.
A better understanding of the pathophysiology of the autonomic dysregulation in that population would be very useful. Unfortunately, accurate diagnostic tools that objectively assess and quantify the immature autonomic control in neonates are lacking.
Methods: In this PhD thesis we examined different effects of the immature autonomic control in very preterm infants under clinically relevant conditions. We conducted a prospective single center observational study, where we assessed fluctuations in body temperature, sleep behavior, and heart rate variability in very preterm infants. We described the different regulatory systems using distinct mathematical expressions, such as detrended fluctuation analysis and sample entropy. We assessed associations between these outcome parameters and relevant factors of the infant’s history, such as demographic parameters and co-morbidities.
Besides that, we analyzed lung function measurements of preterm infants and healthy term controls at a comparable postconceptional age, to describe respiratory control.
Results: This study is systematically assessing different physiological signals of autonomic dysregulation in preterm infants during their first days of life. We found associations between parameters describing the complexity of time series analysis and maturity or relevant co-morbidities of the infants. In the analysis of heart rate variability we even found that parameters derived from time series analysis, assessed during the infants first days of life, improve our ability to predict future evolution of the infants’ autonomic stability. Lastly, several weeks after the expected due date, tidal breathing pattern of preterm infants showed a different reaction in response to a sigh when compared to term born controls at equivalent postmenstrual age indicating that autonomic dysregulation in preterm infants is still present well beyond the expected due date.
Conclusion: A better understanding about the resolution of autonomic dysregulation in this population is not only important for the infant and its family but has the potential to support resource allocation and identification of patients with elevated risk for future deterioration. We thus think that the insights about the immature autonomic control in preterm infants, gained through this PhD work, are of substantial scientific and clinical relevance.
Advisors:Schulzke, Sven and Frey, Urs and Suki, Bela and Schmidt-Trucksäss, Arno and Müller, Bert
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde (Klinik) > Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde (UKBB) > Neonatologie (Schulzke)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde (Klinik) > Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde (UKBB) > Neonatologie (Schulzke)
UniBasel Contributors:Schulzke, Sven and Schmidt-Trucksäss, Arno and Müller, Bert
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:12599
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (122 Seiten)
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Last Modified:08 Feb 2020 14:52
Deposited On:17 May 2018 08:06

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