Transitional fetal hemodynamics and gas exchange in premature postpartum adaptation: immediate vs. delayed cord clamping

  • Yigit B
  • Tutsak E
  • Yıldırım C
  • et al.
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Background: Recent studies suggest that delayed cord clamping (DCC) is advantageous for achieving hemodynamic stability and improving oxygenation compared to the immediate cord clamping (ICC) during fetal-to-neonatal transition yet there is no quantitative information on hemodynamics and respiration, particularly for pre-term babies and fetal disease states. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the effects of ICC and DCC on hemodynamics and respiration of the newborn preterm infants in the presence of common vascular pathologies. Methods: A computational lumped parameter model (LPM) of the placental and respiratory system of a fetus is developed to predict blood pressure, flow rates and oxygen saturation. Cardiovascular system at different gestational ages (GA) are modeled using scaling relations governing fetal growth with the LPM. Intrauterine growth restriction (GR), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) were modeled for a newborn at 30 weeks GA. We also formulated a "severity index (SI)" which is a weighted measure of ICC vs. DCC based on the functional parameters derived from our model and existing neonatal disease scoring systems. Results: Our results show that transitional hemodynamics is smoother in DCC compared to ICC for all GAs. Blood volume of the neonate increases by 10% for moderately preterm and term infants (32-40 wks) and by 15% for very and extremely preterm infants (22-30 wks) with DCC compared to ICC. DCC also improves the cardiac output and the arterial blood pressure by 17% in term (36-40 wks), by 18% in moderately preterm (32-36 wks), by 21% in very preterm (28-32 wks) and by 24% in extremely preterm (20-28 wks) births compared to the ICC. A decline in oxygen saturation is observed in ICC received infants by 20% compared to the DCC received ones. At 30 weeks GA, SI were calculated for healthy newborns (1.18), and newborns with GR (1.38), PDA (1.22) and RDS (1.2) templates. Conclusion: Our results suggest that DCC provides superior hemodynamics and respiration at birth compared to ICC. This information will help preventing the complications associated with poor oxygenation arising in premature births and pre-screening the more critical babies in terms of their cardiovascular severity.




Yigit, B., Tutsak, E., Yıldırım, C., Hutchon, D., & Pekkan, K. (2019). Transitional fetal hemodynamics and gas exchange in premature postpartum adaptation: immediate vs. delayed cord clamping. Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology, 5(1).

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