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Lactate and lactate dehydrogenase in predicting the severity of transient tachypnea of the newborn.

OBJECTIVE: Low Apgar score is strongly associated with the incidence of transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) and other respiratory diseases of the newborn. We aimed to investigate the relationship between hypoxia determinants and the prolonged oxygen and respiratory support requirement even if the Apgar scores were normal.

METHODS: Retrospective case-controlled study. Infants born after 35 weeks of gestational age with clinical signs, chest X-ray findings and clinical course consistent with TTN were included. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the predictive values of determinants in predicting the risk for prolonged oxygen requirement and mechanical ventilatory support.

RESULTS: We showed a positive correlation between the duration of oxygen with lactate and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. LDH offered the best predictive value for prolonged oxygen requirement with a positive predictive value (PPV) of 88.9%. The predictive value of lactate exceeds the predictive value of LDH, aspartate aminotransferase, and percentage of normoblasts to predict the requirement of respiratory support with a PPV of 88.5%.

CONCLUSIONS: Lactate and LDH might be useful for clinicians at first level hospitals for decision making to refer the TTN patient to the secondary or tertiary level neonatal intensive care unit before the clinical situation is worsened.

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