Background and aims Cardiovascular problems, including low flow and hypotension are common in extremely preterm infants. Low cerebral blood flow is associated with poor long-term outcome (1). Right common carotid artery flow (RCCAF) provides a reproducible non-invasive measure of blood flow to the brain, but there are no studies of RCCAF in extremely preterm infants. We wanted to investigate the relationship between RCCAF, cardiac output (CO) and BP in this group.
Methods We studied 30 infants born <29 weeks gestation. RCCAF and CO using Doppler ultrasound was measured on day 1 and 3 of life. RCCAF and CO was measured using established methods. Mean arterial BP was measured at the time of recording the RCCAF. Non-parametric statistics were used for analysis (SPSS v22). Ethics committee approval (Reference 12/LO/1553) and written parental consent obtained.
Results Median (range) gestation and birth weight was 26 (23–28) weeks and 775 (515–1470) grams respectively.
There were no statistically significant correlations between RCCAF, BP or CO in this cohort on day 1 or day 3 of life.
Conclusions RCCAF increased between day 1 and day 3 of life in extremely preterm infants, which reflects improved CO. We found no significant relationship between RCCAF, BP and CO in our babies. Values in this cohort were lower than previously reported in more stable infants, particularly on day 1.
Seri I. Low superior vena cava flow during the first postnatal day and neurodevelopment in preterm infants. J Pediatr 2004