InfanDx' primary project focuses on the diagnostic testing for the following:

Basic definitions in brief

  • Asphyxia is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen, which may happen to babies during birth (perinatal asphyxia)
  • HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) is severe brain damage following oxygen deficiency, often a consequence from perinatal asphyxia

Further Background

  • The neonatal consequences of asphyxia involve multiple organ systems in the newborn. These include the brain, cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal systems. The multi organ involvement makes the nursing care of these infants especially challenging.
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is characterized by clinical and laboratory evidence of acute or subacute brain injury due to asphyxia (i.e., hypoxia, acidosis). Most often, the exact timing and underlying cause remain unknown. Despite major advances in monitoring technology and knowledge of fetal and neonatal pathologies, perinatal asphyxia or - more appropriately - hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), remains a serious condition that causes significant mortality and long-term morbidity.

Clinical consequences of HIE

  • Decreased level of consciousness, from delayed arousal to stimulation to comatose state, absent or diminished developmental reflexes such as Moro, suck, rooting, palmar = plantar grasps
  • Decreased tone, mostly axial, with head lag
  • Depressed deep tendon reflexes initially with exaggerated and pathological reflexes later on
  • Seizures
  • Decreased respiratory function and need for ventilatory support
  • Depression of cardiovascular function and need for vasopressors
  • Manifestations from other organs such as liver, kidneys, adrenals, gastrointestinal system, bone marrow

The most common sequela of HIE that often needs lifelong management is spasticity associated with cerebral palsy, and there are newer and promising treatment modalities for spasticity. Treatment has to be individualized with the main goal to improve function and, in turn, quality of life. There is no single modality that works best and more often a combination of therapies is needed for adequate control.