Glial fibrillary acidic protein as a biomarker for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy treated with whole-body cooling

Christopher S. Ennen, Thierry A.G.M. Huisman, William J. Savage, Frances J. Northington, Jacky M. Jennings, Allen D. Everett, Ernest M. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is specific to astrocytes in the central nervous system. We hypothesized that serum GFAP would be increased in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) treated with whole-body cooling. Study Design: We measured GFAP at birth and daily for up to 7 days for neonates in the intensive care unit. We compared neonates with HIE treated with whole-body cooling to gestational agematched controls without neurological injury and neonates with HIE by brain abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Results: Neonates with HIE had increased GFAP levels compared with controls. Neonates with HIE and abnormal brain imaging had elevated GFAP levels compared with neonates with HIE and normal imaging. Conclusion: Serum GFAP levels during the first week of life were increased in neonates with HIE and were predictive of brain injury on MRI. Biomarkers such as GFAP could help triage neonates with HIE to treatment, measure treatment efficacy, and provide prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251.e1-251.e7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011



  • fetal acidosis
  • glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • neonatal seizures
  • whole-body cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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