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  • Journal article
    Montaldo P, Lally PJ, Oliveira V, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Hypothermic neuroprotection for neonatal encephalopathy in low-and middle-income countries: a new approach to an old problem

    , NeoReviews.org, Vol: 19, Pages: e735-e741, ISSN: 1526-9906

    Little progress has been made over the past decade in improving the outcomes of infants with neonatal encephalopathy in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), and millions of infants still die or sustain permanent neurodisability every year. One of the key reasons for this lack of progress is a disconnect between encephalopathy research in high-income countries and LMICs. The majority of the neonatal encephalopathy research has been conducted in high-income countries with a low disease burden, without the involvement of LMICs. Here we discuss how a collaborative approach—particularly between middle-income countries and high-income countries—enables the use of state-of-the-art magnetic resonance biomarkers and host gene expression profiling for effective disease stratification. Using the example of the Hypothermia for Encephalopathy in Low-and middle-Income countries (HELIX) trial, we describe how this approach may result in a paradigm shift in global perinatal brain research over the next decade.

  • Journal article
    Oliveira V, Martins R, Liow N, Teiserskas J, von Rosenberg W, Adjei T, Shivamurthappa V, Lally PJ, Mandic D, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Prognostic accuracy of heart rate variability analysis in neonatal encephalopathy: a systematic review

    , Neonatology, Vol: 115, Pages: 59-67, ISSN: 1661-7800

    BACKGROUND: Heart rate variability analysis offers real-time quantification of autonomic disturbance after perinatal asphyxia, and may therefore aid in disease stratification and prognostication after neonatal encephalopathy (NE). OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the existing literature on the accuracy of early heart rate variability (HRV) to predict brain injury and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes after NE. DESIGN/METHODS: We systematically searched the literature published between May 1947 and May 2018. We included all prospective and retrospective studies reporting HRV metrics, within the first 7 days of life in babies with NE, and its association with adverse outcomes (defined as evidence of brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging and/or abnormal neurodevelopment at ≥1 year of age). We extracted raw data wherever possible to calculate the prognostic indices with confidence intervals. RESULTS: We retrieved 379 citations, 5 of which met the criteria. One further study was excluded as it analysed an already-included cohort. The 4 studies provided data on 205 babies, 80 (39%) of whom had adverse outcomes. Prognostic accuracy was reported for 12 different HRV metrics and the area under the curve (AUC) varied between 0.79 and 0.94. The best performing metric reported in the included studies was the relative power of high-frequency band, with an AUC of 0.94. CONCLUSIONS: HRV metrics are a promising bedside tool for early prediction of brain injury and neurodevelopmental outcome in babies with NE. Due to the small number of studies available, their heterogeneity and methodological limitations, further research is needed to refine this tool so that it can be used in clinical practice.

  • Journal article
    Chalak LF, Nguyen K-A, Prempunpong C, Heyne R, Thayyil S, Shankaran S, Laptook AR, Rollins N, Pappas A, Koclas L, Shah B, Montaldo P, Techasaensiri B, Sánchez PJ, Sant'Anna Get al., 2018,

    Prospective research in infants with mild encephalopathy identified in the first six hours of life: neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18-22 months

    , Pediatric Research, Vol: 84, Pages: 861-868, ISSN: 0031-3998

    BACKGROUND: Studies of early childhood outcomes of mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) identified in the first 6 h of life are lacking. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18-22 months of PRIME study. STUDY DESIGN: Multicenter, prospective study of mild HIE defined as ≥1 abnormality using the modified Sarnat within 6 h of birth and not meeting cooling criteria. Primary outcome was disability with mild: Bayley III cognitive 70-84 or ≥85 and either Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) 1 or 2, seizures, or hearing deficit; moderate: cognitive 70-84 and either GMFCS 2, seizures, or hearing deficit; severe: cognitive <70, GMFCS 3-5. RESULTS: Of the 63 infants enrolled, 51 (81%) were evaluated at 19 ± 2 months and 43 (68%) completed Bayley III. Of the 43 infants, 7 (16%) were diagnosed with disability, including 1 cerebral palsy and 2 autism. Bayley scores < 85 in either cognition, motor, or language were detected in 17 (40%): 14 (32%) language, 7 (16%) cognitive, and 6 (14%) motor domain. Infants with disability had more abnormalities on discharge examination and brain MRI, with longer hospital stay (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In this contemporary untreated cohort of mild HIE, disability occurred in 16% of infants at 18-22 months.

  • Journal article
    Thayyil S, Shankaran S, 2018,

    Current status of therapeutic hypothermia in India: few concerns

    , Indian Pediatrics, Vol: 55, Pages: 347-348, ISSN: 0019-6061
  • Journal article
    Oliveira V, Kumutha JR E N, Somanna J, Benkappa N, Bandya P, Chandrasekeran M, Swamy R, Mondkar J, Dewang K, Manerkar S, Sundaram M, Chinathambi K, Bharadwaj S, Bhat V, Madhava V, Nair M, Lally PJ, Montaldo P, Atreja G, Mendoza J, Bassett P, Ramji S, Shankaran S, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Hypothermia for encephalopathy in low-income and middle-income countries: feasibility of whole-body cooling using a low-cost servo-controlled device

    , BMJ Paediatrics Open, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2399-9772

    Although therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the standard of care for hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in high-income countries, the safety and efficacy of this therapy in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is unknown. We aimed to describe the feasibility of TH using a low-cost servo-controlled cooling device and the short-term outcomes of the cooled babies in LMIC. Design: We recruited babies with moderate or severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (aged <6 hours) admitted to public sector tertiary neonatal units in India over a 28-month period. We administered whole-body cooling (set core temperature 33.5°C) using a servo-controlled device for 72 hours, followed by passive rewarming. We collected the data on short-term neonatal outcomes prior to hospital discharge. Results: Eighty-two babies were included-61 (74%) had moderate and 21 (26%) had severe encephalopathy. Mean (SD) hypothermia cooling induction time was 1.7 hour (1.5) and the effective cooling time 95% (0.08). The mean (SD) hypothermia induction time was 1.7 hour (1.5 hour), core temperature during cooling was 33.4°C (0.2), rewarming rate was 0.34°C (0.16°C) per hour and the effective cooling time was 95% (8%). Twenty-five (51%) babies had gastric bleeds, 6 (12%) had pulmonary bleeds and 21 (27%) had meconium on delivery. Fifteen (18%) babies died before discharge from hospital. Heart rate more than 120 bpm during cooling (P=0.01) and gastric bleeds (P<0.001) were associated with neonatal mortality. Conclusions: The low-cost servo-controlled cooling device maintained the core temperature well within the target range. Adequately powered clinical trials are required to establish the safety and efficacy of TH in LMICs. Clinical trial registration number: NCT01760629.

  • Journal article
    Thayyil S, 2018,

    Cooling Therapy for Neonatal Encephalopathy in Low- and Middle-income Countries.

    , Indian Pediatrics, Vol: 55, Pages: 197-198, ISSN: 0019-6061
  • Journal article
    Munroe PB, Addison S, Abrams DJ, Sebire NJ, Cartwright J, Donaldson I, Cohen MM, Mein C, Tinker A, Harmer SC, Aziz Q, Terry A, Struebig M, Warren HR, Vadgama B, Fowler DJ, Peebles D, Taylor AM, Lally PJ, Thayyil Set al., 2018,

    Postmortem genetic testing for cardiac ion channelopathies in stillbirths

    , Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1942-325X

    BackgroundAlthough stillbirth is a significant health problem worldwide, the definitive cause of death remains elusive in many cases, despite detailed autopsy. In this study of partly explained and unexplained stillbirths, we used next-generation sequencing to examine an extended panel of 35 candidate genes known to be associated with ion channel disorders and sudden cardiac death.Methods and ResultsWe examined tissue from 242 stillbirths (≥22 weeks), including those where no definite cause of death could be confirmed after a full autopsy. We obtained high-quality DNA from 70 cases, which were then sequenced for a custom panel of 35 genes, 12 for inherited long- and short-QT syndrome genes (LQT1-LQT12 and SQT1-3), and 23 additional candidate genes derived from genome-wide association studies. We examined the functional significance of a selected variant by patch-clamp electrophysiological recording. No predicted damaging variants were identified in KCNQ1 (LQT1) or KCNH2 (LQT2). A rare putative pathogenic variant was found in KCNJ2(LQT7) in 1 case, and several novel variants of uncertain significance were observed. The KCNJ2 variant (p. R40Q), when assessed by whole-cell patch clamp, affected the function of the channel. There was no significant evidence of enrichment of rare predicted damaging variants within any of the candidate genes.ConclusionsAlthough a causative link is unclear, 1 putative pathogenic and variants of uncertain significance variant resulting in cardiac channelopathies was identified in some cases of otherwise unexplained stillbirth, and these variants may have a role in fetal demise.

  • Journal article
    Chandrasekaran M, Swamy R, Ramji S, Shankaran S, Thayyil Set al., 2017,

    Therapeutic hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy in Indian neonatal units: A survey of national practices

    , Indian Pediatrics, Vol: 54, Pages: 969-970, ISSN: 0019-6061

    This cross-sectional web-based survey suggests that cooling therapy is offered as standard of care for babies with neonatal encephalopathy in 10/25 (40%) of public and 37/68 (51%) of private level 2 or 3 neonatal units in India. 25 (53%) used locally improvised cooling methods, and the cooling practices differed from established protocols in high-income countries.

  • Journal article
    Tann CJ, Martinello KA, Sadoo S, Lawn JE, Seale AC, Vega-Poblete A, Russell NJ, Baker CJ, Bartlett L, Cutland C, Gravett MG, Ip M, Le Doare K, Madhi SA, Rubens CE, Saha SK, Schrag S, Sobanjo-ter Meulen A, Vekemans J, Heath PT, GBS Neonatal Encephalopathy Investigator Groupet al., 2017,

    Neonatal Encephalopathy With Group B Streptococcal Disease Worldwide: Systematic Review, Investigator Group Datasets, and Meta-analysis

    , Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 65, Pages: S173-S189, ISSN: 1058-4838

    BackgroundNeonatal encephalopathy (NE) is a leading cause of child mortality and longer-term impairment. Infection can sensitize the newborn brain to injury; however, the role of group B streptococcal (GBS) disease has not been reviewed. This paper is the ninth in an 11-article series estimating the burden of GBS disease; here we aim to assess the proportion of GBS in NE cases.MethodsWe conducted systematic literature reviews (PubMed/Medline, Embase, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature [LILACS], World Health Organization Library Information System [WHOLIS], and Scopus) and sought unpublished data from investigator groups reporting GBS-associated NE. Meta-analyses estimated the proportion of GBS disease in NE and mortality risk. UK population-level data estimated the incidence of GBS-associated NE.ResultsFour published and 25 unpublished datasets were identified from 13 countries (N = 10436). The proportion of NE associated with GBS was 0.58% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18%–.98%). Mortality was significantly increased in GBS-associated NE vs NE alone (risk ratio, 2.07 [95% CI, 1.47–2.91]). This equates to a UK incidence of GBS-associated NE of 0.019 per 1000 live births.ConclusionsThe consistent increased proportion of GBS disease in NE and significant increased risk of mortality provides evidence that GBS infection contributes to NE. Increased information regarding this and other organisms is important to inform interventions, especially in low- and middle-resource contexts.

  • Journal article
    Prempunpong C, Chalak LF, Garfinkle J, Shah B, Kalra V, Rollins N, Boyle R, Nguyen K-A, Mir I, Pappas A, Montaldo P, Thayyil S, Sánchez PJ, Shankaran S, Laptook AR, Sant'Anna Get al., 2017,

    Prospective research on infants with mild encephalopathy: the PRIME study.

    , Journal of Perinatology, Vol: 38, Pages: 80-85, ISSN: 0743-8346

    OBJECTIVE: To determine short-term outcomes of infants with evidence of hypoxia-ischemia at birth and classified as mild neonatal encephalopathy (NE) at <6 h of age. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective multicenter study. Mild NE was defined as ⩾1 abnormal category in modified Sarnat score. Primary outcome was any abnormality on early amplitude integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) or seizures, abnormal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or neurological exam at discharge. RESULTS: A total of 54/63 (86%) of enrolled infants had data on components of the primary outcome, which was abnormal in 28/54 (52%): discontinuous aEEG (n=4), MRI (n=9) and discharge exam (n=22). Abnormal tone and/or incomplete Moro were the most common findings. MRI abnormalities were confined to cerebral cortex but two infants had basal ganglia and/or thalamus involvement. The 18 to 24 months follow-up is ongoing. CONCLUSIONS: A larger than expected proportion of mild NE infants with abnormal outcomes was observed. Future research should evaluate safety and efficacy of neuroprotection for mild NE.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 2 November 2017; doi:10.1038/jp.2017.164.

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