INTRODUCTION: Adrenomedullin (ADM) is one of the strongest endogenous vasodilating hormones. Its stable by-product midregional-proADM (MR-proADM) is an established indicator of systemic infection and cardiovascular compromise in adult patients.
METHODS: A prospective cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the perinatal factors affecting MR-proADM plasma concentrations in 328 newborn infants with a gestational age (GA) between 24 and 41 wk.
RESULTS: Blood samples were obtained in 270 infants from umbilical veins (with additional 108 paired samples from umbilical arteries), and at 2-3 d of life in 183 infants. Paired venous and arterial umbilical cord MR-proADM concentrations were closely related (Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient (R(s)) = 0.825, P < 0.001). MR-proADM concentrations at birth and at 2-3 d were inversely related to GA (R(s) = -0.403 and R(s) = -0.541, respectively) and birth weight (BW; R(s) = -0.421 and R(s) = -0.530, respectively; all P < 0.001). On stepwise regression analysis, clinical chorioamnionitis and umbilical arterial blood base excess retained a significant impact on MR-proADM cord venous blood concentrations. At 2-3 d of life, histologic chorioamnionitis and GA at delivery were significantly associated with MR-proADM levels.
DISCUSSION: As compared with adults, MR-proADM concentrations are elevated in neonates, especially those born very preterm. Immaturity and infection, which both feature low systemic vascular resistance, are related to increased MR-proADM concentrations.