Exchange transfusion in septic neonates with sclerema: effect on immunoglobulin and complement levels

S Sadana, N B Mathur, A Thakur
Indian Pediatrics 1997, 34 (1): 20-5

OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of exchange transfusion (ET) on the levels of immunoglobulins (Ig) and C3 in neonatal sepsis with sclerema.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial in a referral neonatal unit of a teaching hospital.

SUBJECTS: Consecutive culture positive septic neonates with sclerema were enrolled and were randomized to undergo ET (study group, n = 20) or no ET (controls, n = 20).

RESULTS: Mortality was 50% in the study group and 95% in controls. Gram negative organisms accounted for 85% in study group and 90% in controls. IgG, IgA and IgM levels rose significantly while C3 levels did not show significant rise 12-24 hours after ET. Ig and C3 levels did not change significantly in the controls.

CONCLUSION: ET with fresh whole blood in septicemic newborns with sclerema improves survival, particularly in the more premature group and significantly enhances, IgG, IgA and IgM levels.

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