The aim of this study was to define the predictive values of serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of interleukin-6 and neuron-specific enolase and urinary uric acid/creatinine ratio for outcome in term infants with perinatal asphyxia. All biochemical markers were measured simultaneously within the 24-72 hours of life in 21 infants. The infants were monitored with a standardized neurologic and developmental evaluation protocol over the 2 years of life. The overall outcome at 2 years of age was categorized as "favorable" or "adverse". According to Sarnat and Sarnat classification, 12 infants had mild encephalopathy and 9 infants had moderate to severe encephalopathy. Seven of 9 (78%) infants with moderate to severe encephalopathy had adverse outcome. However, all infants with mild encephalopathy had favorable outcome. Interleukin-6 and neuron specific enolase levels in cerebrospinal fluid and serum interleukin-6 levels were significantly correlated with the degree of encephalopathy, as well as the outcome. Interleukin-6 in cerebrospinal fluid (cutoff value, 25.9 pg/mL) had the highest predictive value among the biochemical markers. The predictive factors identified in this study should be examined for their ability in a fresh clinical sample in the neonatal intensive care unit before these markers can be applied to the routine clinical of infants with perinatal asphyxia. (C) 2004 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.