What is the role of a CBC count in the workup of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: Kate A Tauber, MD; Chief Editor: Howard S Weber, MD, FSCAI  more...
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Evaluate the complete blood cell (CBC) count for a high hematocrit level, because polycythemia and hyperviscosity syndrome may produce or aggravate PPHN.

The white blood cell (WBC) count and differential may help in determining whether an underlying sepsis or pneumonia is present.

Red cell distribution width (RDW) appears to have the potential to be a useful, simple marker for predicting PPHN before performing echocardiography in hypoxemic neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). [30] In a retrospective study (2014-2016) of all term infants with PPHN admitted to a NICU, investigators found that RDW was higher in PPHN infants than those in the control group, and the optimal PPHN predictive RDW cut point was 17.9 (with an 85.7% sensitivity). Significant predictors of PPHN were maternal underlying disease and RDW. [30]

Laboratory tests to assess for coagulopathy includes a platelet count, prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), and international normalized ratio (INR). If present, such coagulopathy may indicate sepsis and more severe disease.

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