Transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring for the prevention of neonatal morbidity and mortality

Matteo Bruschettini, Olga Romantsik, Simona Zappettini, Luca Antonio Ramenghi, Maria Grazia Calevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement is a fundamental evaluation in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), as both low and high values of CO2 might have detrimental effects on neonatal morbidity and mortality. Though measurement of CO2 in the arterial blood gas is the most accurate way to assess the amount of CO2, it requires blood sampling and it does not provide a continuous monitoring of CO2. Objectives: To assess whether the use of continuous transcutaneous CO2 (tcCO2) monitoring in newborn infants reduces mortality and improves short and long term respiratory and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Search methods: We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review group to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 11), MEDLINE via PubMed (1966 to November 1, 2015), EMBASE (1980 to November 1, 2015), and CINAHL (1982 to November 1, 2015). We also searched clinical trials databases, conference proceedings, and the reference lists of retrieved articles for randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized trials. Selection criteria: Randomized, quasi-randomized and cluster randomized controlled trials comparing different strategies regarding tcCO2 monitoring in newborns. Three comparisons were considered, that is, continuous tcCO2 monitoring versus 1) any intermittent modalities to measure CO2; 2) other continuous CO2 monitoring; and 3) with or without intermittent CO2 monitoring. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. Two review authors independently assessed studies identified by the search strategy for inclusion. Main results: Our search strategy yielded 106 references. Two review authors independently assessed all references for inclusion. We did not find any completed studies for inclusion, nor ongoing trials. Authors' conclusions: There was no evidence to recommend or refute the use of transcutaneous CO2 monitoring in neonates. Well-designed, adequately powered randomized controlled studies are necessary to address efficacy and safety of transcutaneous CO2 monitoring in neonates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD011494
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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