Supplementary Material for: Comparison of Umbilical Serum Copeptin Relative to Erythropoietin and S100B as Asphyxia Biomarkers at Birth
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Background: Birth asphyxia, estimated to account for a million neonatal deaths annually, can cause a wide variety of neurodevelopmental impairments. There is a need to develop new, swift methods to identify those neonates who would benefit from neuroprotective treatments such as hypothermia. Objectives: To examine the utility of cord serum copeptin, a stable byproduct of arginine vasopressin release, as a biomarker of birth asphyxia based on a comparison with 2 biomarkers of hypoxia and brain trauma: erythropoietin and S100B. Methods: The study population consisted of 140 singleton, term neonates: 113 controls and 27 with birth asphyxia (2/3 criteria met: umbilical artery pH <7.10, base excess ≤12 mmol/L, and 5-min Apgar score <7). All deliveries were planned vaginal, but 51 neonates were born by emergency cesarean section. Copeptin, S100B, and erythropoietin levels in umbilical artery samples were measured by immunoassays. Results: Copeptin correlated in the entire study population more strongly with umbilical artery base excess than S100B and erythropoietin, and only copeptin correlated with arterial pH. Furthermore, only copeptin levels were significantly higher in cases of birth asphyxia, and in vaginally born neonates they were found to increase as a function of labor duration. Copeptin was elevated in neonates born via vacuum extraction, whereas erythropoietin levels showed a slight increase after emergency cesarean section. Conclusions: In this study population, S100B and erythropoietin were not valid biomarkers of birth asphyxia. In contrast, our work suggests that copeptin has high potential to become a routinely used biomarker for acute birth asphyxia and neonatal distress.