Inflammation, sepsis severity and neurodevelopmental outcomes of late-onset sepsis in preterm neonates

Şerife Kurul, Famke L.M. Beckers, Marijn J. Vermeulen, Jill Suurland, Jasmin E. Hasbek, Christian R.B. Ramakers, Sinno H.P. Simons, Irwin K.M. Reiss, H. Rob Taal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT) and interleukin-6 (IL-6)) and sepsis severity (neonatal-Sequential-Organ-Failure-Assessment (nSOFA)) and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years, among very preterm neonates. Methods: Data on preterm neonates (gestational age <30 weeks) from 2016 until 2020 were reviewed. Outcomes of interest were NDI (no, mild, severe) and the motor and cognitive score on the Dutch-Bayley-Scales-of-Infant-and-Toddler-Development (Bayley-III-NL) assessed at the corrected age of 2 years. Logistic and linear regression analysis were used for categorical and continuous outcomes, respectively. All analyses were adjusted for gestational age, sex and birthweight-for-gestational-age SD-score. Results: In total 410 patients were eligible for analysis. Maximum CRP concentrations were associated with lower motor and cognitive scores (effect estimate −0.03 points,(95% CI −0.07; −0.00) and −0.03 points,(95% CI −0.06; −0.004), respectively) and increased risk of severe NDI (odds ratio (OR) 1.01, (95% CI 1.00; 1.01)). High nSOFA scores (≥4) during sepsis episodes were associated with an increased risk of mild NDI (OR 2.01, (95% CI 1.34; 3.03)). There were no consistent associations between IL-6, PCT and the outcomes of interest. Conclusion: High CRP concentrations and sepsis severity in preterm neonates seem to be associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in survivors at the age of 2 years. Impact statement: The level of inflammation and sepsis severity are associated with neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm neonates at 2 years of corrected age.Sepsis is a major health issue in preterm neonates and can lead to brain damage and impaired neurodevelopment. Biomarkers can be determined to assess the level of inflammation. However, the relation of inflammatory biomarkers with neurodevelopmental outcome is not known.The level of inflammation and sepsis severity are related to neurodevelopmental outcome in preterm neonates. Maximum CRP concentration and high nSOFA scores are associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental impairment in survivors at the corrected age of 2 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2026-2032
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number6
Early online date19 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.R.T. received an unrestricted research grant from Roche Diagnostics (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.) to support the conduct of this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to the International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Inflammation, sepsis severity and neurodevelopmental outcomes of late-onset sepsis in preterm neonates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this