Umbilical vein interleukin-6 levels in very low birth weight infants developing intraventricular hemorrhage
To assess the relationship between perinatal infection/inflammation as reflected by umbilical vein interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and the development of periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, we tested the hypothesis that VLBW infants who develop IVH have higher concentrations of IL-6 in an umbilical vein sample compared to infants without IVH. An inception cohort of 69 VLBW infants was followed from birth until discharge or death to determine the development of IVH by serial neuroultrasounds. Umbilical vein IL-6 levels were measured using commercially available ELISA kit (Endogen Laboratories, Woburn, MA) and compared in IVH and control cohorts. Twenty-two (32%) infants developed IVH, including 18 (82%) with grade I or II and 4 (18%) with grade III or IV. One of these infants also developed periventricular leukomalacia. The umbilical vein IL-6 levels were significantly elevated in infants with IVH with median value of 87 pg/ml (25th percentile value 30 pg/ml and 75th percentile value 310 pg/ml) compared with infants without IVH, with a median value of 0 pg/ml (25th percentile value 0 pm/ml and 75th percentile value 4 pg/ml) (P = 0.007). Umbilical vein IL-6 levels are elevated in neonates who subsequently develop IVH.