There are few data on the hormonal response to operation in the premature infant. Studies examining the response of newborn human infants have been performed on patients beyond the first few days of life, where some adaptation to postnatal life has occurred. This study evaluated the response of the newly born premature primate to surgical stress. Premature baboons (75% gestation) were intubated, mechanically ventilated and underwent thoracotomy at 2 hours of life with exposure of the ductus arteriosus (PDA). In group 1, formalin was infiltrated to keep the ductus patent. In group 2, the PDA was ligated. Controls had no operation. Blood was drawn at 0, 6, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours of age. Echocardiograms were performed to confirm patency or closure of the ductus and to monitor cardiac function. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, renin, and cortisol levels were measured. Cortisol levels rose in all groups. Operation stimulated a marked increase in catecholamine and renin levels in both operative groups, which was more marked in the group with PDA ligation at 24 hours. These data reflect expected pathophysiology since early PDA ligation exerts additional hemodynamic demand on the heart. In conclusion, the premature primate is able to mount a significant and severity-dependent endocrine response to stress.
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- hormonal response to surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health