Background: Newborns delivered by vacuum extraction quite often show clinical signs of a hemodynamic compromise, which is difficult to assess in terms of severity. The conventional means to measure the hemodynamic status are not sensitive enough to appreciate the severity of general, and more specifically of cerebral circulatory imbalance. The aim was to study cerebral tissue oxygenation during postnatal adaptation in these infants using near-infrared spectroscopy.
Methods: The tissue hemoglobin index (THI), tissue oxygenation index (TOI), arterial oxygen saturation (pre-ductal SaO₂) and heart rate (HR) were recorded immediately after birth, and again after 12-24 hours of life in 15 newborns delivered by vacuum extraction due to fetal distress. A comparison with 19 healthy newborns delivered by elective cesarean section was performed.
Results: Newborns delivered by vacuum extraction had significantly higher THI 10 to 15 minutes after birth. TOI and HR were significantly higher in the first 5 min and SaO₂ in the first 10 minutes but then did not differ from those after cesarean section.
Conclusion: Infants delivered by vacuum extraction following fetal distress show transient deviations in cerebral oxygenation and perfusion after birth which were not detectable after 24 hours.