To determine the association of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) with death or disability among infants with moderate or severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) treated with therapeutic hypothermia.
We compared infants with and without PPHN enrolled in the hypothermia arm from three randomized controlled trials (RCTs): Induced Hypothermia trial, “usual care” arm of Optimizing Cooling trial, and Late Hypothermia trial. Primary outcome was death or disability at 18–22 months adjusted for severity of HIE, center, and RCT.
Among 280 infants, 67 (24%) were diagnosed with PPHN. Among infants with and without PPHN, death or disability was 47% vs. 29% (adjusted OR: 1.65, 0.86–3.14) and death was 26% vs. 12% (adjusted OR: 2.04, 0.92–4.53), respectively.
PPHN in infants with moderate or severe HIE was not associated with a statistically significant increase in primary outcome. These results should be interpreted with caution given the limited sample size.