The effects of profound umbilical artery acidemia in term neonates admitted to a newborn nursery

T. A. King, G. L. Jackson, S. Josey, D. A. Vedro, H. Hawkins, K. M. Burton, M. N. Burks, W. M. Yellin, A. R. Laptook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether there were immediate adverse effects of an umbilical artery pH ≤ 7.0 in term and near-term infants. Study design: All infants triaged to the newborn nursery with an umbilical artery pH ≤ 7.0 from May 1993 through April (n = 37) were prospectively identified; 35 of the 37 infants were enrolled and matched with nonacademic control infants (n = 35). Organ system dysfunction (neurologic, renal, hepatic, gastrointestinal) was evaluated either clinically or biochemically with selected blood and urine parameters. Results: Acidemic and control groups were similar for pregnancy complications before labor, but acidemic infants were more often delivered by cesarean section (20/35 vs 6/35, p = 0.001). No differences existed between acidemic and control infants in gestational age, birth weight, neurologic evaluations, hearing deficits, feeding tolerance, and hepatic function. The acidemic group had a higher mean serum creatinine than control infants on day 2 of life (0.90 ± 0.34 vs 0.71 ± 0.12 mg/dl, p = 0.005) and a greater number of infants with a urine Chemstrip positive for heme (14/35 vs 3/35, p = 0.005). No differences existed between groups in time to first void, urine specific gravity, and number of infants with microscopic hematuria. Conclusion: Term and near-term infants born with an umbilical artery pH ≤ 7.0 and triaged to the newborn nursery on the basis of a stable appearance in the delivery room do not have clinical manifestations of hypoxia-ischemia in the 48 hours after birth. The higher mean serum creatinine for acidemic compared with control groups is presumably prerenal in origin and results from processes responsible for profound fetal acidemia. Infants with an umbilical artery pH ≤ 7.0 and assessed to be clinically well can be treated similar to nonacidemic infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-629
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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