Pulmonary 18Fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in infants of very low birth weight with and without intrauterine inflammation
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OBJECTIVE: We compared early pulmonary (18)fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)FDG) uptake in infants who had very low birth weight with and without exposure to intrauterine inflammation by using positron emission tomography (PET). A secondary goal was to correlate (18)FDG uptake with later death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. METHODS: Within 72 hours of birth, 22 singleton infants between 25 and 30 weeks of gestation had a thoracic PET scan after intravenous (18)FDG. Influx constants (K(i)) for (18)FDG were determined. Placental histology assessed exposure to intrauterine inflammation. RESULTS: Chorioamnionitis was found in 13 infants. Seven of these infants also had evidence of funisitis. No inflammation was detected in the remaining nine infants. Median (minimum, maximum) thoracic K(I) was 0.008 (0.006, 0.011) mL/min/mL in infants with funisitis, 0.006 (0.002, 0.008) in infants with chorioamnionitis only, and 0.006 (0.001, 0.015) in infants with no evidence of intrauterine inflammation (P=.16). No relation was found between K(i) and later death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Cord blood interleukin-6 was elevated in newborns with placental inflammation (P=.014). CONCLUSION: Early thoracic PET scanning for metabolically active inflammatory cells does not differ between infants with and without exposure to intrauterine inflammation. Evidence of early intrapulmonary sequestration of inflammatory cells in some infants without chorioamnionitis points to the complex etiology of postnatal inflammation.
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