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Predictive Value of Neurodevelopmental Outcome and Serum Tau Protein Level in Neonates with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy by Hong-Yan Lv, Su-Jing Wu, Xiu-Ling Gu, Qiu-Li Wang, Peng-Shun Ren, Yan Ma, Li-Ying Peng, Lin-Hong Jin, Lian-Xiang Li

Background: Tau protein is s specific protein expressed by neurons in the central nervous system. Elevated serum Tau protein is associated with many diseases of the central nervous system. The serum Tau protein level in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is still poorly understood.
Methods: Forty-one human neonates with HIE and thirty-five healthy neonates (control group) within 24 hours after birth were studied. Tau protein in serum was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neurological outcome was assessed at 9 months of age according to the Gesell developmental scale.
Results: Tau protein in serum was significantly higher in the HIE group than in the control group (p < 0.01), in neonates with severe HIE than neonates with moderate HIE (p < 0.01), and in infants with neurodevelopmental retardation compared with those with normal neurodevelopment (p < 0.01). The result of this study showed an obvious negative correlation between the serum Tau protein level and development quotients of neonates with HIE (rs = -0.6172, p < 0.01). Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis showed that Tau protein (cutoff value 933.04 pg/mL) was a predictor of neurodevelopmental retardation outcome (AUC value = 0.860 (95% CI: 0.736 - 0.983, p < 0.01), sensitivity 100%, specificity 70.8%).
Conclusions: Serum Tau protein level within 24 hours after birth can be used as a marker for the early diagnosis of neonatal HIE and predicting neurodevelopmental outcomes.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170103