Neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an important cause of neonatal death and disability. At present, there is no unified standard and specialized treatment method for neonatal HIE. In clinical practice, the authors have found that a gap remains between preclinical medical research and clinical application in the treatment of neonatal HIE. To promote an organic combination of preclinical research and clinical application, the authors here propose the different phases as intervention targets, based on the pathophysiologic changes in phases I, II, and III of neonatal HIE; moreover, they suggest transformative medicine as a principle that may improve the therapeutic effect by blocking the progression of the disease to an irreversible stage. For instance, in phase I, mild hypothermia, free radical scavenger (erythropoietin, hydrogen-rich saline), excitatory amino acid receptor blocker, and neuroprotective agents should be administered to neonates with moderate/severe HIE; in phase II, following phase I treatment, anti-inflammatory agents, neuroprotective or nerve regeneration agents, and stem cell transplantation should be administered to patients; in phase III, anti-inflammatory agents, neuroprotective or nerve regeneration agents, and stem cell transplantation should be administered to patients. As soon as the patient’s condition has stabilized, acupuncture, massage, and rehabilitation training should be performed. Following further study of stem cells, stem cell transplantation is expected to become the most promising therapeutic candidate for treatment of severe neonatal HIE with its sequelae.
Wang Q, Lv H, Lu L, et al. Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: emerging therapeutic strategies based on pathophysiologic phases of the injury. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019 Nov;32(21):3685-3692.