Study of Nucleated Red Blood Cell Counts in Asphyxiated Newborns and the Fetal Outcome

Sylvia M Colaco, Minhajuddin Ahmed, Vinayak Y Kshirsagar, Rohit Bajpai


Background: The aim of the study was to find the values of nucleated red blood cells (NRBCs) in normal and asphyxiated babies and their correlation with simple clinical parameter and immediate outcome of such babies.

Methods: One hundred forty babies were registered for the study, with 70 as cases and 70 controls. Cord blood was collected and analyzed and the number of NRBCs was determined. It was case-control prospective study.

Results: The mean NRBC level in cases and control groups was 17.43 19.86/100 white blood cells (WBCs) and 2.97 4.79/100 WBCs respectively (P < 0.0001). The 41.43% of babies did not develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Stage I HIE was seen in 14.28% of the babies, while stage II and stage III HIE were seen in 31.43% and 12.86% babies respectively. The mean NRBCs were 4.48, 11.10, 25.95 and 45.55/100 WBCs in no HIE and stage I, II and III HIE respectively. The NRBC counts are significantly different according to the stages of HIE (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: NRBCs can be considered as a marker of perinatal asphyxia and significantly correlated with the degree of asphyxia. NRBCs can be used to determine the grade of HIE in asphyxiated neonates.

Int J Clin Pediatr. 2014;3(3):79-85


Nucleated red blood cells; Perinatal asphyxia; Neonate

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