Early Use of Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography to Stratify Neonatal Encephalopathy

Kiran R. Natique, Yudhajit Das, Maricel N. Maxey, Pollieanna Sepulveda, Larry S. Brown, Lina F. Chalak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The dynamic nature of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) after birth necessitates reliable biomarkers to identify infants with evolving brain injury. This prospective cohort aims to use serial Doppler ultrasonography (US) to measure cerebral blood flow velocity and resistance index (RI) to help detect the time and evolution of the clinical encephalopathy. Methods: A total of 60 neonates were enrolled all ≥36 weeks’ gestation with perinatal acidemia, defined as a blood gas pH ≤ 7.0 or base deficit ≥16 mmol/L and encephalopathy including a matched control group without encephalopathy. Each neonate received one to three serial Doppler recordings starting at six to 24 hours of life. Mean RI ≤ 0.55 was considered abnormal. Results: Mean RIs obtained shortly after birth were significantly lower with increasing severity of encephalopathy. On the first Doppler recordings, abnormal mean RIs were seen in 11 of 18 (61%) neonates with mild, 13 of 17 (76%) with moderate, and two of two (100%) with severe HIE. Of the neonates with mild HIE and abnormal mean RIs, congruity abnormal amplitude electroencephalography (45%), brain magnetic resonance imaging (45%), and abnormal head ultrasound (44%) are here reported. Conclusions: Doppler measurements can provide bedside adjunct biomarkers indicating the time and severity of neonatal HIE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Biomarkers
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Therapeutic hypothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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