Publication: Umbilical cord levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
Background/aim: We aimed to evaluate the association of the umbilical cord macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) with the respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in preterm infants.
Materials and methods: A total of eighty six preterm infants (38 with RDS and 48 without RDS) were involved in the study. ELISA is the technique assaying MIF values.
Results: The mean of the infants’ gestational ages and birth weights were significantly different (P = 0.0001). There were no significant differences in sex, delivery mode or exposure to antenatal steroid among the groups (P > 0.05). Umbilical cord MIF levels of the infants were not correlated with gestational age and birth weight (Spearman’s rho = –0.22 and 0.28 respectively, P > 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in umbilical cord MIF levels of infants whether or not they were administered antenatal steroid (median:17.88 vs. median:17.60, Mann–Whitney U test, P = 0.42). Cord serum MIF levels were higher (mean, 17.09 ± 5.86 ng/mL) in the RDS group than in the non-RDS group (mean, 14.72 ± 4.18 ng/mL) (P = 0.005).
Conclusion: This study shows that, MIF level is higher in the cord blood of the infants with RDS than of the infants without RDS. This supports that MIF expression begins in prior to the birth of the preterm infants and MIF has enhancing impact on the lung development of premature babies. With future studies, the assessment of the cord MIF levels at the bedside may be beneficial for the diagnosis and treatment of RDS, and taking actions to prevent long-term consequences.