Are early skin breaks associated with neonatal thalamic maturation?


  • Prolonged arterial line (AL) and central venous line (CVL) use may provide a novel opportunity to reduce invasive procedures in preterm neonates, resulting in pain reduction, which is associated with optimal thalamic growth.

Why this matters

  • Increasing invasive procedures predicts delayed thalamic and other brain structural and functional growth, and altered behavioral responses in very preterm infants; AL (used for blood sampling and blood pressure monitoring) and CVL (deliver intravenous fluids, food, medication) lines are increasingly used to reduce numbers of these procures in this group.

  • Prolonged AL/CVL use and its association with fewer invasive procedures could potentially be seen as a modifiable risk factor for increased thalamic growth and relative preservation of neurodevelopmental processes in very preterm neonates.

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