Elevated activin a urine levels are predictors of intraventricular haemorrhage in preterm newborns

Andrea Sannia, Luc Ji Zimmermann, Antonio W D Gavilanes, Hans J. Vles, Maria Grazia Calevo, Pasquale Florio, Diego Gazzolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) is the most common variety of cerebral haemorrhage and cause of neurological disabilities in preterm newborns. We evaluated the usefulness of urine Activin A concentrations for the early detection of perinatal IVH. Methods: We conducted a case-control study on 100 preterm newborns (20 with IVH and 80 without IVH) in whom urine Activin A was measured at five predetermined time-points in the first 72 h after birth. IVH diagnosis and the extension of the lesion were performed by ultrasound scanning within the first 72 h and at 1 week after birth, respectively. Results: Urine Activin A in infants who developed IVH was significantly higher than in controls at all monitoring time-points (p <0.01 for all), increasing progressively from first urination to 24 h when it reached the highest peak (p <0.001). At a cut-off 0.08 ng/L, at the first void, Activin A sensitivity and specificity were 68.7% (CI: 41.3-89%) and 84.5% (CI: 75-91.5%). Conclusion: Activin A measurements in urine soon after birth can constitute a promising tool for identifying preterm infants at risk of IVH.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Activin A
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain damage
  • IVH
  • Prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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