NIRS Monitoring in Premature Infants

  • End date
    Dec 27, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Boston Children's Hospital
Updated on 27 January 2021
cerebral blood flow


This study uses frequency domain near-infrared spectroscopy coupled with diffuse correlation spectroscopy (FDNIRS-DCS) technology for monitoring cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral oxygen metabolism (CMRO2) at the bedside for newborns with germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage (GM-IVH) and/or post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) in comparison to newborns with hydrocephalus of a different etiology (VC) and healthy controls (HC). We hypothesize that baseline cerebral metabolic dysfunction is a better biomarker for GM-IVH and PHH severity and response to PHH treatment.

This is a Boston Children's Hospital (BCH)-institutional review board(IRB) approved, multi-site study that includes collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Pei-Yi Lin receives funding from The National Institute of Health (NIH) to support the study and is the overall principal Investigator (PI) overseeing the study.


Introduction and specific aims:

Germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage (GM-IVH) occurs in 45% of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) premature infants, often leading to long-term neurodevelopmental impairments (NDI). Post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) is a common complication of GM-IVH and increases the risk of major NDI to 75-90%. Currently, the only bedside tool to assess for hemorrhage and monitor for secondary hydrocephalus is ultrasound. Although increasing ventricular size is currently used to determine need for intervention, measures based on cerebral physiology are needed to better determine the impact of the expanding ventricles on individual cerebral metabolism.

Our group has developed advanced FDNIRS-DCS technology for monitoring cerebral oxygen metabolism (CMRO2) in newborns at the bedside. We hypothesize that baseline and evoked cerebral metabolic dysfunctions are better biomarkers for GM-IVH and PHH severity and response to PHH treatment. To test our hypotheses, we will address the following specific


Aim 1: Determine post-natal cerebral hemodynamics and oxygen metabolism trajectories in GM-IVH and PHH neonates with respect to normal controls and differences between PHH infants and infants affected by hydrocephalus due to other pathologies.

We hypothesize that:

  1. Infants with GM-IVH have lower CBF and CMRO2 than healthy controls and the decrease is in proportion to the severity of GM-IVH. (GM-IVH vs HC)
  2. Infants with PHH have lower CBF and CMRO2 than healthy controls. (PHH vs HC)
  3. For infants who developed PHH, the decrease of CBF and CMRO2 is affected by both hemorrhages and the severity of hydrocephalus. (PHH vs VC)

Aim 2: Test the efficacy of cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism in detecting hydrocephalus treatment response in both PHH and VC groups.

We hypothesize that CBF and CMRO2 increase in response to treatment-associated improvements in hydrocephalus but remain depressed when response to treatment is inadequate.

Aim 3: Test the sensitivity of FDNIRS-DCS measured cerebral hemodynamics and oxygen metabolism in predicting developmental outcomes in infants with GM-IVH and PHH. We will assess neurodevelopmental outcomes in all enrolled infants at 5-7, 10-12, and 22-24 months corrected age and correlate with FDNIRS-DCS measurements of CBF and CMRO2, and related quantities with neurodevelopmental outcomes at approximately 5-7, 10-12, and 22-24 months corrected age.

Condition Hemorrhage, Hemorrhage, Hydrocephalus, Neonate, Prematurity, newborn
Treatment ETV/CPC, VP shunt
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02601339
SponsorBoston Children's Hospital
Last Modified on27 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

< 12 months old cGA at first measure or
eligible for measurement within 1 year after the infant reaches 40 weeks age
(PMA). Symptomatic hydrocephalus of any etiology or at high risk of developing
hydrocephalus of any etiology, except post-hemorrhagic etiology; characterized
by abnormal rate of head growth and full anterior fontanelle. Ventricular
enlargement diagnosed by ultrasonography or MRI; no signs of IVH

Exclusion Criteria

known or suspected metabolic disorder or
neoplasm; critical congenital heart disease; CNS infection. Implanted devices
or other devices that preclude the use of MRI
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