Objective Gender definitely plays an important role for mortality and morbidity in preterm infants. Furthermore, recent studies have shown gender-specific differences favouring females with the use of supplemental oxygen during resuscitation. Female preterm infants showed less oxidative stress and increased antioxidant activity.
Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate, whether there are differences due to gender in the course of regional cerebral tissue oxygen saturation (crSO2) during transition after birth.
Material and methods In a prospective observational study during 2009–2012, crSO2 was measured using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) (Invos 5100 cerebral/somatic oximeter monitor; Somanetics Corp, Troy, Michigan) during the first 15 min after birth for term and preterm neonates requiring no medical support and/or supplemental oxygen. The NIRS sensor was placed on the left forehead. Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) were continuously measured by pulse oximetry. Cerebral fractional oxygen extraction (cFTOE) was calculated. Data were analysed regarding gender for all study groups (term/vaginally delivered-VDterm; term/caesarean delivered-CDterm; preterm/caesarean delivered-CDpreterm).
Results Out of a total of 479 measured infants during the study period, 374 were considered for further analysis. In the group of term infants, there was a gender difference in those with cesarian delivery (CDterm group, n = 268): males showed significantly higher values for SpO2 (p = . 009) and crSO2 (p = . 009); whereas no difference was seen in HR. FTOE values were lower in males, very close to significance (p = 0.055).
There was no significant difference in any parameter in vaginally delivered term infants (VDterm group, n = 80), as well as in preterm infants (CDpreterm group, n = 26). The power analysis showed, that in these two groups the number of infants was too small to draw significant conclusions.
Conclusion There was a significant difference in course of crSO2 and SpO2 due to gender in term infants after cesarian section delivery, male infants did show significantly higher oxygen saturation values compared to female infants.
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