To test the hypothesis that an Apgar score at 10 minutes is independently predictive for death or moderate or severe disability.
A secondary analysis of the Optimizing Cooling Trial (NCT01192776) including 347 infants with ≥36 weeks’ gestational age at birth and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and 18- to 22-month outcomes from 18 US centers in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. The primary outcome was the composite of death or moderate/severe disability at 18 to 22 months of age. Generalized estimating equation models were used to examine the relationship between Apgar scores and outcomes, controlling for center, hypothermia treatment, and severity of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Classification and regression tree analyses were conducted to identify combinations of variables available during resuscitation that were most predictive for the composite outcome and death.
The study revealed that 50% (13 of 26) of infants with a 10-minute Apgar score of 0 survived; 46% (6 of 13) had no disability, 16% (2 of 13) had mild disability, and 38% (5 of 13) had moderate or severe disability. The 10-minute Apgar score of 0 was independently associated with death or moderate or severe disability (adjusted relative risk = 1.72, 95% confidence interval 1.11–2.68, P value = .016), but the area under the curve analysis (AUC) was low (AUC = 0.56). The predictive accuracy improved when the 10-minute Apgar score was combined with other risk variables available during resuscitation by using a classification and regression tree analysis (AUC = 0.66).
A 10-minute Apgar score of 0 alone does not predict the risk of death or moderate or severe disability well. The current study provides evidence in support of the 2020 American Heart Association/International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation recommendation for continuing resuscitative efforts for infants who need cardiopulmonary resuscitation at 10 minutes after birth.