A new non-invasive index for early assessment of brain injury in newborns
Researchers at the Silesian University of Technology from the biomed~lab Biomedical Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Thermal Engineering, in collaboration with doctors from the University Clinical Hospital in Opole and Opole University, have developed a proposal for the so-called Thermal Index (TI). It is a new, non-invasive method of early assessment of brain injury in newborns undergoing therapeutic hypothermia, the treatment being used as a result of perinatal hypoxia. The proposed index, based on indirect measurement of endogenous metabolic heat production, is characterised by a high, statistically significant, positive correlation between MRI based scores and TI values (0.98; p = 0.0003). An additional advantage of the new index is that it can be determined in the very first hours of the infant life.
The developed solution has been created as part of the National Science Center OPUS project entitled Experimental studies and computer modelling of heat exchange processes in therapeutic hypothermia of the brain of newborns, which is carried out in consortium with the above-mentioned partners, whose leader is the Silesian University of Technology.
Thanks to the cooperation of an interdisciplinary team of scientist and clinicians, the research is conducted in the field of identification of thermal physiology processes occurring during therapeutic hypothermia in the brain of newborn infants as well as the development of numerical models of heat exchange in the body of a newborn infant is in progress. As a result of the work, in addition to the proposed diagnostic method, personalized medicine tools are also being developed that allows planning and conducting hypothermic therapy in a controlled way.
Team leaders:Andrzej J. Nowak, Ziemowit Ostrowski, Marek Rojczyk, Dominika Bandoła
Details of the achievements of the SUT scientists in the field of the new diagnostic method are described in a scientific article that appeared on 15 June 2021:
W. Walas, A. Mączko, Z. Halaba, M. Bekiesińska-Figatowska, I. Miechowicz, D. Bandoła, Z. Ostrowski, M. Rojczyk, A. Nowak, Thermal Index for early non-invasive assessment of brain injury in newborns treated with therapeutic hypothermia: preliminary report. Sci Rep 11, 12578 (2021) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-92139-6