Evaluation of lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase and hepatic enzymes for the retrospective diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia among sick neonates.
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It is difficult to make a retrospective diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia in symptomatic neonates delivered non-institutionally. We studied serum creatine kinase muscle-brain fraction (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and glutamic pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) for differentiating asphyxiated (n=25) from non-asphyxiated (n=20) neonates who present with non-specific signs of sickness. CK-MB was assayed at 8 and 24 h; and LDH, SGOT and SGPT at 72 h of life. On comparing cases and controls, median 8-hr CK-MB [80 U/L vs. 26 U/L respectively, P< 0.001], median 24-hr CK-MB [33.5 U/L vs. 21.5 U/L respectively, P=0.009] and median LDH [965 U/L vs. 168 U/L respectively, P< 0.001] were higher in asphyxiated neonates. Raised LDH had 100% sensitivity, while CK-MB had 100% specificity for asphyxia. LDH had the highest area under ROC curve (0.998). We conclude that LDH at 72 hr of life is most accurate at differentiating asphyxiated from non-asphyxiated symptomatic neonates.