Open Access
Activin A in asphyxiated full-term newborns with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
Pasquale Florio1,Alessandro Frigiola1,Raffaele Battista1,Ali El Hadi Abdalla1,Diego Gazzolo1,Letizia Galleri1,Serena Pinzauti1,Raul Abella1,Giovanni Li Volti1,Mirella Strambi1
Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.
DOI: 10.2741/E62 Volume 2 Issue 1, pp.36-42
Published: 01 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and biochemical markers and fetal-neonatal development)

Activin-A is a protein over-expressed and secreted by the brain after neuronal destruction. We evaluated whether serum activin-A increases in asphyxiated full-term newborns (AFTNs) at risk of hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy (HIE). 105 consecutive infants (35 affected by perinatal asphyxia due to acute fetal distress; 70 healthy gestational-age matched newborns) underwent cranial assessment and neurologic examination at 12, 24 and 72 hours after birth and, on discharge from the hospital and; activin-A and monitoring laboratory variables assessment at birth. According to the occurrence of HIE within 7-days after birth, AFTNs were subdivided in Group A (n= 20; no/mild HIE with good prognosis) and Group B (n= 15; moderate/severe HIE with a greater risk of neurological handicap). Activin-A was significantly (P less than 0.0001) higher in Groups A and B than controls and highest (P less than 0.001) in Group B. At 0.66 ng/L activin-A achieved a sensitivity of 93.33 per cent and a specificity of 96.63 per cent, respectively, as HIE diagnostic test. These findings show that activin A increased in AFTNs with HIE before the appearance of related signs.

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Pasquale Florio, Alessandro Frigiola, Raffaele Battista, Ali El Hadi Abdalla, Diego Gazzolo, Letizia Galleri, Serena Pinzauti, Raul Abella, Giovanni Li Volti, Mirella Strambi. Activin A in asphyxiated full-term newborns with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite. 2010. 2(1); 36-42.