Docosahexaenoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid Levels Are Associated with Early Systemic Inflammation in Extremely Preterm Infants. Nutrients 2020;12(7)Abstract.
Fetal and early postnatal inflammation have been associated with increased morbidity in extremely preterm infants. This study aimed to demonstrate if postpartum levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) were associated with early inflammation. In a cohort of 90 extremely preterm infants, DHA and AA in cord blood, on the first postnatal day and on postnatal day 7 were examined in relation to early systemic inflammation, defined as elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and/or interleukin-6 (IL-6) within 72 h from birth, with or without positive blood culture. Median serum level of DHA was 0.5 mol% (95% CI (confidence interval) 0.2-0.9, = 0.006) lower than the first postnatal day in infants with early systemic inflammation, compared to infants without signs of inflammation, whereas levels of AA were not statistically different between infants with and without signs of inflammation. In cord blood, lower serum levels of both DHA (correlation coefficient -0.40; = 0.010) and AA (correlation coefficient -0.54; < 0.001) correlated with higher levels of IL-6. Levels of DHA or AA did not differ between infants with and without histological signs of chorioamnionitis or fetal inflammation. In conclusion, serum levels of DHA at birth were associated with the inflammatory response during the early postnatal period in extremely preterm infants.