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1.  Early CPAP versus Surfactant in Extremely Preterm Infants 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(21):1970-1979.
There are limited data to inform the choice between early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and early surfactant treatment as the initial support for extremely-low-birth-weight infants.
We performed a randomized, multicenter trial, with a 2-by-2 factorial design, involving infants who were born between 24 weeks 0 days and 27 weeks 6 days of gestation. Infants were randomly assigned to intubation and surfactant treatment (within 1 hour after birth) or to CPAP treatment initiated in the delivery room, with subsequent use of a protocol-driven limited ventilation strategy. Infants were also randomly assigned to one of two target ranges of oxygen saturation. The primary outcome was death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia as defined by the requirement for supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks (with an attempt at withdrawal of supplemental oxygen in neonates who were receiving less than 30% oxygen).
A total of 1316 infants were enrolled in the study. The rates of the primary outcome did not differ significantly between the CPAP group and the surfactant group (47.8% and 51.0%, respectively; relative risk with CPAP, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85 to 1.05) after adjustment for gestational age, center, and familial clustering. The results were similar when bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined according to the need for any supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks (rates of primary outcome, 48.7% and 54.1%, respectively; relative risk with CPAP, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.01). Infants who received CPAP treatment, as compared with infants who received surfactant treatment, less frequently required intubation or postnatal corticosteroids for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (P<0.001), required fewer days of mechanical ventilation (P = 0.03), and were more likely to be alive and free from the need for mechanical ventilation by day 7 (P = 0.01). The rates of other adverse neonatal outcomes did not differ significantly between the two groups.
The results of this study support consideration of CPAP as an alternative to intubation and surfactant in preterm infants. ( number, NCT00233324.)
PMCID: PMC3071534  PMID: 20472939
2.  Cytokines Associated with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or Death in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2009;123(4):1132-1141.
Inflammation mediated by cytokines may be important in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and the competing outcome of death in extremely low birth weight infants.
To develop multi-variable logistic regression models for the outcome of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or death at 36w post-menstrual age using clinical and cytokine data from the first 28 days.
1067 extremely low birth weight infants in the Neonatal Research Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development had 25 cytokines measured from blood collected within 4 h of birth and on days 3, 7, 14, and 21. Stepwise regression using peak values of the 25 cytokines and 15 clinical variables identified variables associated with BPD/death. Multi-variable logistic regression was done for bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death using variables selected by stepwise regression. Similar analyses were also done using average cytokine values from days 0–21, days 0–3, and from days 14–21.
Of 1062 infants with available data, 606 infants developed bronchopulmonary dysplasia or died. Combining results from all models, bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death was associated with higher concentrations of interleukins-1β, -6, -8, -10, and interferon-γ and lower concentrations of interleukin-17, RANTES, and tumor necrosis factor-β. Compared to models with only clinical variables, addition of cytokine data improved predictive ability by a statistically significant but clinically modest magnitude.
The overall pattern of cytokines suggests bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death may be associated with impairment in the transition from the innate immune response mediated by neutrophils to the adaptive immune response mediated by T-lymphocytes.
PMCID: PMC2903210  PMID: 19336372
Logistic models; Infant; premature; Predictive value of tests
3.  Intercenter Differences in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or Death Among Very Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2010;127(1):e106-e116.
To determine (1) the magnitude of clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (36 weeks) or death (the outcome) across centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development National Research Network, (2) the infant-level variables associated with the outcome and estimate their clustering, and (3) the center-specific practices associated with the differences and build predictive models.
Data on neonates with a birth weight of <1250 g from the cluster-randomized benchmarking trial were used to determine the magnitude of clustering of the outcome according to alternating logistic regression by using pairwise odds ratio and predictive modeling. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were identified by using multivariate analysis. The magnitude of clustering was then evaluated after correction for infant-level variables. Predictive models were developed by using center-specific and infant-level variables for data from 2001 2004 and projected to 2006.
In 2001–2004, clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death was significant (pairwise odds ratio: 1.3; P < .001) and increased in 2006 (pairwise odds ratio: 1.6; overall incidence: 52%; range across centers: 32%–74%); center rates were relatively stable over time. Variables that varied according to center and were associated with increased risk of outcome included lower body temperature at NICU admission, use of prophylactic indomethacin, specific drug therapy on day 1, and lack of endotracheal intubation. Center differences remained significant even after correction for clustered variables.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death rates demonstrated moderate clustering according to center. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were also clustered. Center differences after correction of clustered variables indicate presence of as-yet unmeasured center variables.
PMCID: PMC3010091  PMID: 21149431
logistic models; infant; premature; predictive value of tests; clustering
4.  Neonatal Outcomes of Extremely Preterm Infants From the NICHD Neonatal Research Network 
Pediatrics  2010;126(3):443-456.
This report presents data from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network on care of and morbidity and mortality rates for very low birth weight infants, according to gestational age (GA).
Perinatal/neonatal data were collected for 9575 infants of extremely low GA (22–28 weeks) and very low birth weight (401–1500 g) who were born at network centers between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007.
Rates of survival to discharge increased with increasing GA (6% at 22 weeks and 92% at 28 weeks); 1060 infants died at ≤ 12 hours, with most early deaths occurring at 22 and 23 weeks (85% and 43%, respectively). Rates of prenatal steroid use (13% and 53%, respectively), cesarean section (7% and 24%, respectively), and delivery room intubation (19% and 68%, respectively) increased markedly between 22 and 23 weeks. Infants at the lowest GAs were at greatest risk for morbidities. Overall, 93% had respiratory distress syndrome, 46% patent ductus arteriosus, 16% severe intraventricular hemorrhage, 11% necrotizing enterocolitis, and 36% late-onset sepsis. The new severity-based definition of bronchopulmonary dysplasia classified more infants as having bronchopulmonary dysplasia than did the traditional definition of supplemental oxygen use at 36 weeks (68%, compared with 42%). More than one-half of infants with extremely low GAs had undetermined retinopathy status at the time of discharge. Center differences in management and outcomes were identified.
Although the majority of infants with GAs of ≥24 weeks survive, high rates of morbidity among survivors continue to be observed.
PMCID: PMC2982806  PMID: 20732945
extremely low gestation; very low birth weight; morbidity; death
5.  Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in the Early CPAP and Pulse Oximetry Trial 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(26):2495-2504.
Previous results from our trial of early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) versus early surfactant treatment in infants showed no significant difference in the outcome of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. A lower (vs. higher) target range of oxygen saturation was associated with a lower rate of severe retinopathy but higher mortality. We now report longer-term results from our prespecified hypotheses.
Using a 2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned infants born between 24 weeks 0 days and 27 weeks 6 days of gestation to early CPAP with a limited ventilation strategy or early surfactant administration and to lower or higher target ranges of oxygen saturation (85 to 89% or 91 to 95%). The primary composite outcome for the longer-term analysis was death before assessment at 18 to 22 months or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months of corrected age.
The primary outcome was determined for 1234 of 1316 enrolled infants (93.8%); 990 of the 1058 surviving infants (93.6%) were evaluated at 18 to 22 months of corrected age. Death or neurodevelopmental impairment occurred in 27.9% of the infants in the CPAP group (173 of 621 infants), versus 29.9% of those in the surfactant group (183 of 613) (relative risk, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78 to 1.10; P = 0.38), and in 30.2% of the infants in the lower-oxygen-saturation group (185 of 612), versus 27.5% of those in the higher-oxygen-saturation group (171 of 622) (relative risk, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.32; P = 0.21). Mortality was increased with the lower-oxygen-saturation target (22.1%, vs. 18.2% with the higher-oxygen-saturation target; relative risk, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.55; P = 0.046).
We found no significant differences in the composite outcome of death or neurodevelopmental impairment among extremely premature infants randomly assigned to early CPAP or early surfactant administration and to a lower or higher target range of oxygen saturation. (Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; SUPPORT number, NCT00233324.)
PMCID: PMC4140695  PMID: 23268664
6.  Vitamin A Supplementation in Extremely Low- Birth-Weight Infants: Subgroup Analysis in Small-for-Gestational-Age Infants 
American journal of perinatology  2013;30(9):771-780.
Preterm infants with intrauterine growth restriction are at increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). A randomized clinical trial by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network demonstrated that vitamin A supplementation in extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) preterm infants requiring early respiratory support decreased the risk of developing BPD.
Study Design
A subgroup analysis of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants from the original NICHD trial was performed to test the hypothesis that in infants requiring early respiratory support, vitamin A supplementation decreases the relative risk of BPD or death in premature SGA infants to a greater extent than in gestational age–equivalent vitamin A–treated appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) infants.
Although vitamin A supplementation significantly increased serum retinol concentrations in AGA ELBW infants (median [5th percentile, 95th percentile]: 16.3 [−7.0, 68.8] versus 2.4 [−13.9, 55.1]; p < 0.001), no increases were noted in SGA ELBW infants.
Given the limited power of this analysis due to a low number of SGA infants, these data did not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin A supplementation in preterm SGA infants requiring early respiratory support decreases the relative risk of BPD or death as compared with preterm AGA infants.
PMCID: PMC3923571  PMID: 23329565
vitamin A; IUGR–intrauterine growth restriction; BPD–bronchopulmonary dysplasia; SGA–small for gestational age; AGA–appropriate for gestational age
7.  Using a Count of Neonatal Morbidities to Predict Poor Outcome in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants: Added Role of Neonatal Infection 
Pediatrics  2009;123(1):313-318.
A count of 3 neonatal morbidities (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, brain injury, and severe retinopathy of prematurity) strongly predict the risk of death or neurosensory impairment in extremely low birth weight infants who survive to 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age. Neonatal infection has also been linked with later impairment. We examined whether the addition of infection to the count of 3 neonatal morbidities further improves the prediction of poor outcome.
We studied 944 infants who participated in the Trial of Indomethacin Prophylaxis in Preterms and survived to 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age. Culture-proven sepsis, meningitis, and stage II or III necrotizing enterocolitis were recorded prospectively. We investigated the incremental prognostic importance of neonatal infection by adding terms for the different types of infection to a logistic model that already contained terms for the count of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, brain injury, and severe retinopathy. Poor outcome at 18 months of age was death or survival with 1 or more of the following: cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, severe hearing loss, and bilateral blindness.
There were 414 (44%) infants with at least 1 episode of infection or necrotizing enterocolitis. Meningitis and the presence of any type of infection added independent prognostic information to the morbidity-count model. The odds ratio associated with infection or necrotizing enterocolitis in this model was 50% smaller than the odds ratio associated with each count of the other 3 neonatal morbidities. Meningitis was rare and occurred in 22 (2.3%) of 944 infants.
In this cohort of extremely low birth weight infants who survived to 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age, neonatal infection increased the risk of a late death or survival with neurosensory impairment. However, infection was a weaker predictor of poor outcome than bronchopulmonary dysplasia, brain injury, and severe retinopathy.
PMCID: PMC2829863  PMID: 19117897
extremely low birth weight infant; infection; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; brain injury; retinopathy; neurosensory impairment
8.  Initial respiratory management in preterm infants and bronchopulmonary dysplasia 
Clinics  2011;66(5):823-827.
Ventilator injury has been implicated in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Avoiding invasive ventilation could reduce lung injury, and early respiratory management may affect pulmonary outcomes.
To analyze the effect of initial respiratory support on survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia at a gestational age of 36 weeks.
A prospective 3-year observational study. Preterm infants of <32 weeks gestational age were classified into 4 groups according to the support needed during the first 2 hours of life: room air, nasal continuous positive airway pressure, intubation/surfactant/extubation and prolonged mechanical ventilation (defined as needing mechanical ventilation for more than 2 hours).
Of the 329 eligible patients, a total of 49% did not need intubation, and 68.4% did not require prolonged mechanical ventilation. At a gestational age of 26 weeks, there was a significant correlation between survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia and initial respiratory support. Preterm infants requiring mechanical ventilation showed a higher risk of death and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. After controlling for gestational age, antenatal corticosteroid use, maternal preeclampsia and chorioamnionitis, the survival rate without bronchopulmonary dysplasia remained significantly lower in the mechanically ventilated group.
In our population, the need for more than 2 hours of mechanical ventilation predicted the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants with a gestational age >26 weeks (sensitivity = 89.5% and specificity = 67%). The need for prolonged mechanical ventilation could be an early marker for the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. This finding could help identify a target population with a high risk of chronic lung disease. Future research is needed to determine other strategies to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia in this high-risk group of patients.
PMCID: PMC3109382  PMID: 21789387
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia; Preterm; Nasal CPAP; Surfactant; Initial; Respiratory Support
9.  The relationship between eosinophilia and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants at less than 34 weeks' gestation 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(4):171-177.
Eosinophilia is common in premature infants, and its incidence increases with a shorter gestation period. We investigated the clinical significance of eosinophilia in premature infants born at <34 weeks gestation.
We analyzed the medical records of premature infants born at <34 weeks gestation who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital between January 2003 and September 2010. Eosinophilia was defined as an eosinophil percentage of >3% of the total leukocytes. Perinatal parameters and clinical parameters were also analyzed.
Of the 261 infants born at <34 weeks gestation, 22.4% demonstrated eosinophilia at birth. The eosinophil percentage peaked in the fourth postnatal week at 7.5%. The incidence of severe eosinophilia increased after birth up to the fourth postnatal week when 8.8% of all patients had severe eosinophilia. Severity of eosinophilia was positively correlated with a lower gestational age, birth weight, and Apgar score. Respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, nephrocalcinosis, intraventricular hemorrhage, and sepsis were associated with a higher eosinophil percentage. The eosinophil percentage was significantly higher in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia from the first postnatal week and the percentage was the highest in the fourth postnatal week, with the maximal difference being 4.1% (P<0.001).
Eosinophilia is common in premature infants and reaches peak incidence and severity in the fourth postnatal week. The eosinophil percentage was significantly higher in bronchopulmonary dysplasia patients from the first postnatal week. Severe eosinophilia was significantly associated with the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia even after adjusting for other variables.
PMCID: PMC4030118  PMID: 24868214
Eosinophilia; Premature infants; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
10.  Frontiers in Pulmonary Hypertension in Infants and Children With Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
Pediatric pulmonology  2012;47(11):1042-1053.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is an increasingly recognized complication of premature birth and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Extreme phenotypic variability exists among preterm infants of similar gestational ages, making it difficult to predict which infants are at increased risk for developing PH. Intrauterine growth retardation or drug exposures, postnatal therapy with prolonged positive pressure ventilation, cardiovascular shunts, poor postnatal lung and somatic growth, and genetic or epigenetic factors may all contribute to the development of PH in preterm infants with BPD. In addition to the variability of severity of PH, there is also qualitative variability seen in PH, such as the variable responses to vasoactive medications. To reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with PH, a multi-pronged approach is needed. First, improved screening for and increased recognition of PH may allow for earlier treatment and better clinical outcomes. Second, identification of both prenatal and postnatal risk factors for the development of PH may allow targeting of therapy and resources for those at highest risk. Third, understanding the pathophysiology of the preterm pulmonary vascular bed may help improve outcomes through recognizing pathways that are dysregulated in PH, identifying novel biomarkers, and testing novel treatments. Finally, the recognition of conditions and exposures that may exacerbate or lead to recurrent PH is needed to help with developing treatment guidelines and preventative strategies that can be used to reduce the burden of disease.
PMCID: PMC3963167  PMID: 22777709
pulmonary hypertension; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; chronic lung disease
11.  Early Blood Gas Predictors of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns 
Aim. To determine among infants born before the 28th week of gestation to what extent blood gas abnormalities during the first three postnatal days provide information about the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Methods. We studied the association of extreme quartiles of blood gas measurements (hypoxemia, hyperoxemia, hypocapnea, and hypercapnea) in the first three postnatal days, with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, among 906 newborns, using multivariable models adjusting for potential confounders. We approximated NIH criteria by classifying severity of BPD on the basis of the receipt of any O2 on postnatal day 28 and at 36 weeks PMA and assisted ventilation. Results. In models that did not adjust for ventilation, hypoxemia was associated with increased risk of severe BPD and very severe BPD, while infants who had hypercapnea were at increased risk of very severe BPD only. In contrast, infants who had hypocapnea were at reduced risk of severe BPD. Including ventilation for 14 or more days eliminated the associations with hypoxemia and with hypercapnea and made the decreased risk of very severe BPD statistically significant. Conclusions. Among ELGANs, recurrent/persistent blood gas abnormalities in the first three postnatal days convey information about the risk of severe and very severe BPD.
PMCID: PMC4052060  PMID: 24959184
12.  Approach to Infants Born at 22 to 24 Weeks’ Gestation: Relationship to Outcomes of More-Mature Infants 
Pediatrics  2012;129(6):e1508-e1516.
We sought to determine if a center’s approach to care of premature infants at the youngest gestational ages (22–24 weeks’ gestation) is associated with clinical outcomes among infants of older gestational ages (25–27 weeks’ gestation).
Inborn infants of 401 to 1000 g birth weight and 22 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks’ gestation at birth from 2002 to 2008 were enrolled into a prospectively collected database at 20 centers participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Markers of an aggressive approach to care for 22- to 24-week infants included use of antenatal corticosteroids, cesarean delivery, and resuscitation. The primary outcome was death before postnatal day 120 for infants of 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Secondary outcomes were the combined outcomes of death or a number of morbidities associated with prematurity.
Our study included 3631 infants 22 to 24 weeks’ gestation and 5227 infants 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Among the 22- to 24-week infants, use of antenatal corticosteroids ranged from 28% to 100%, cesarean delivery from 13% to 65%, and resuscitation from 30% to 100% by center. Centers with higher rates of antenatal corticosteroid use in 22- to 24-week infants had reduced rates of death, death or retinopathy of prematurity, death or late-onset sepsis, death or necrotizing enterocolitis, and death or neurodevelopmental impairment in 25- to 27-week infants.
This study suggests that physicians’ willingness to provide care to extremely low gestation infants as measured by frequency of use of antenatal corticosteroids is associated with improved outcomes for more-mature infants.
PMCID: PMC3362905  PMID: 22641761
low-birth weight infant; NICUs; treatment; patient outcome assessment
13.  Effects of Transfusions in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants: A Retrospective Study 
The Journal of pediatrics  2009;155(3):331-37.e1.
To determine the risks and benefits associated with the transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBCs) in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. We hypothesized that when ELBW infants underwent transfusion with the University of Washington Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) 2006 guidelines, no clinical benefit would be discernible.
Study design
We conducted a retrospective chart review of all ELBW infants admitted to the NICU in 2006. Information on weight gain, apnea, heart rate, and respiratory support was collected for 2 days preceding, the day of, and 3 days after PRBC transfusion. The incidence, timing, and severity of complications of prematurity were documented.
Of the 60 ELBW infants admitted to the NICU in 2006, 78% received PRBC transfusions. Transfusions were not associated with improved weight gain, apnea, or ventilatory/oxygen needs. However, they were associated with increased risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis, and diuretic use (P < .05). Transfusions correlated with phlebotomy losses, gestational age, and birth weight. No association was found between transfusions and sepsis, retinopathy of prematurity, or erythropoietin use.
When our 2006 PRBC transfusion guidelines were used, no identifiable clinical benefits were identified, but increased complications of prematurity were noted. New, more restrictive guidelines were developed as a result of this study.
PMCID: PMC3038786  PMID: 19732577
14.  Outcome at two years of age in a Swiss national cohort of extremely preterm infants born between 2000 and 2008 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:198.
While survival rates of extremely preterm infants have improved over the last decades, the incidence of neurodevelopmental disability (ND) in survivors remains high. Representative current data on the severity of disability and of risk factors associated with poor outcome in this growing population are necessary for clinical guidance and parent counselling.
Prospective longitudinal multicentre cohort study of preterm infants born in Switzerland between 240/7 and 276/7 weeks gestational age during 2000–2008. Mortality, adverse outcome (death or severe ND) at two years, and predictors for poor outcome were analysed using multilevel multivariate logistic regression. Neurodevelopment was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Cerebral palsy was graded after the Gross Motor Function Classification System.
Of 1266 live born infants, 422 (33%) died. Follow-up information was available for 684 (81%) survivors: 440 (64%) showed favourable outcome, 166 (24%) moderate ND, and 78 (11%) severe ND. At birth, lower gestational age, intrauterine growth restriction and absence of antenatal corticosteroids were associated with mortality and adverse outcome (p < 0.001). At 360/7 weeks postmenstrual age, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, major brain injury and retinopathy of prematurity were the main predictors for adverse outcome (p < 0.05). Survival without moderate or severe ND increased from 27% to 39% during the observation period (p = 0.02).
In this recent Swiss national cohort study of extremely preterm infants, neonatal mortality was determined by gestational age, birth weight, and antenatal corticosteroids while neurodevelopmental outcome was determined by the major neonatal morbidities. We observed an increase of survival without moderate or severe disability.
PMCID: PMC3546845  PMID: 23272671
Development; Disability; Mortality; Outcome; Preterm
15.  Utilization of Inhaled Corticosteroids for Infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106838.
To determine demographic and clinical variables associated with inhaled corticosteroid administration and to evaluate between-hospital variation in inhaled steroid use for infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Retrospective Cohort Study.
Neonatal units of 35 US children's hospitals; as recorded in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database.
1429 infants with evolving BPD at 28 days who were born at <29 weeks gestation with birth weight <1500 grams, admitted within the first 7 postnatal days, and discharged between January 2007–June 2011.
Inhaled steroids were prescribed to 25% (n = 352) of the cohort with use steadily increasing during the first two months of hospitalization. The most frequently prescribed steroid was beclomethasone (n = 194, 14%), followed by budesonide (n = 125, 9%), and then fluticasone (n = 90, 6%). Birth gestation <24 weeks, birth weight 500–999 grams, and prolonged ventilation all increased the adjusted odds of ever receiving inhaled corticosteroids (p<0.05). Wide variations between hospitals in the frequency of infants ever receiving inhaled steroids (range: 0–60%) and the specific drug prescribed were noted. This variation persisted, even after controlling for observed confounders.
Inhaled corticosteroid administration to infants with BPD is common in neonatal units within U.S. Children's hospitals. However, its utilization varies markedly between centers from no treatment at some institutions to the majority of infants with BPD being treated at others. This supports the need for further research to identify the benefits and potential risks of inhaled steroid usage in infants with BPD.
PMCID: PMC4156388  PMID: 25192252
16.  Bombesin-like Peptides Modulate Alveolarization and Angiogenesis in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
Rationale: The incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease of newborns, is paradoxically rising despite medical advances. We demonstrated elevated bombesin-like peptide levels in infants that later developed BPD. In the 140-day hyperoxic baboon model of BPD, anti-bombesin antibody 2A11 abrogated lung injury.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that bombesin-like peptides mediate BPD in extremely premature baboons (born at Gestational Day 125 and given oxygen pro re nata [PRN], called the 125-day PRN model), similar to “modern-day BPD.”
Methods: The 125-day animals were treated with 2A11 on Postnatal Day 1 (P1), P3, and P6. On P14 and P21, lungs were inflation-fixed for histopathologic analyses of alveolarization. Regulation of angiogenesis by bombesin was evaluated using cultured pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells.
Measurements and Main Results: In 125-day PRN animals, urine bombesin-like peptide levels at P2–3 are directly correlated with impaired lung function at P14. Gastrin-releasing peptide (the major pulmonary bombesin-like peptide) mRNA was elevated eightfold at P1 and remained high thereafter. At P14, 2A11 reduced alveolar wall thickness and increased the percentage of secondary septa containing endothelial cells. At P21, 2A11-treated 125-day PRN animals had improved alveolarization according to mean linear intercepts and number of branch points per millimeter squared. Bombesin promoted tubulogenesis of cultured pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells, but cocultured fetal lung mesenchymal cells abrogated this effect.
Conclusions: Early bombesin-like peptide overproduction in 125-day PRN animals predicted alveolarization defects weeks later. Bombesin-like peptide blockade improved septation, with the greatest effects at P21. This could have implications for preventing BPD in premature infants.
PMCID: PMC2048672  PMID: 17585105
bombesin; gastrin-releasing peptide; mechanical ventilation; prematurity; antibody treatment
17.  Randomised controlled trial of an aggressive nutritional regimen in sick very low birthweight infants 
AIMS—To improve energy intake in sick very low birthweight (VLBW) infants; to decrease growth problems, lessen pulmonary morbidity, shorten hospital stay, and avoid possible feeding related morbidity. Morbidity in VLBW infants thought to be associated with parenteral and enteral feeding includes bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotising enterocolitis, septicaemia, cholestasis and osteopenia of prematurity.
METHODS—A prospective randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing two types of nutritional intervention was performed involving 125 sick VLBW infants in the setting of a regional neonatal intensive care unit. Babies were randomly allocated to either an aggressive nutritional regimen (group A) or a control group (group B). Babies in group B received a conservative nutritional regimen while group A received a package of more aggressive parenteral and enteral nutrition. Statistical analysis was done using Student's t test, the Mann-Whitney U test, the χ2 test and logistic regression.
RESULTS—There was an excess of sicker babies in group A, as measured by initial disease severity (P <0.01), but mean total energy intakes were significantly higher (P <0.001) in group A at days 3 to 42 while receiving total or partial parenteral nutrition. Survival and the incidences of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, septicaemia, cholestasis, osteopenia and necrotising enterocolitis were similar in both groups. Growth in early life and at discharge from hospital was significantly better in babies in group A. There were no decreases in pulmonary morbidity or hospital stay.
CONCLUSION—Nutritional intake in sick VLBW infants can be improved without increasing the risk of adverse clinical or metabolic sequelae. Improved nutritional intake resulted in better growth, both in the early neonatal period and at hospital discharge, but did not decrease pulmonary morbidity or shorten hospital stay.

 Keywords: very low birthweight infant; nutrition; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; necrotising enterocolitis
PMCID: PMC1720665  PMID: 9279175
18.  Low postnatal serum IGF-I levels are associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) 
Acta Paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)  2012;101(12):1211-1216.
To characterize postnatal changes in serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) in relation to development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in very preterm infants.
Longitudinal study of 108 infants with mean (SD) gestational age (GA) 27.2 (2.2) weeks. Weekly serum samples of IGF-I were analysed from birth until postmenstrual age (PMA) 36 weeks. Multivariate models were developed to identify independent predictors of BPD.
Postnatal mean IGF-I levels at postnatal day (PND) 3–21 were lower in infants with BPD compared with infants with no BPD (16 vs. 26 μg/L, p < 0.001). Longitudinal postnatal change in IGF-I levels (IGF-I regression coefficient (β)), PNDs 3–21, was lower in infants with BPD compared with infants with no BPD (0.28 vs. 0.97, p = 0.002) and mean IGF-I during PMA 30–33 weeks was lower in infants with BPD as compared with infants without BPD (22 vs. 29 μg/L, p < 0.001). In a binomial multiple regression model, lower GA, male gender and lower mean serum IGF-I levels during PND 3–21 were the most predictive risk factors associated with BPD (r2 = 0.634, p < 0.001).
Lower IGF-I concentrations during the first weeks after very preterm birth are associated with later development of BPD.
PMCID: PMC3569611  PMID: 22924869
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Insulin-like growth factor-1; Premature infants
19.  Patent Ductus Arteriosus Therapy: Impact on Neonatal and 18-Month Outcome 
Pediatrics  2009;123(2):674-681.
The purpose of this work was to evaluate therapy for patent ductus arteri-osus as a risk factor for death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or necrotizing enterocolitis in extremely low birth weight infants.
We studied infants in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network Generic Data Base born between 2000 and 2004 at 23 to 28 weeks’ gestation and at <1000-g birth weight with patent ductus arteriosus. Patent ductus arteriosus therapy was evaluated as a risk factor for outcomes in bivariable and multivariable analyses.
Treatment for subjects with patent ductus arteriosus (n = 2838) included 403 receiving supportive treatment only, 1525 treated with indomethacin only, 775 with indomethacin followed by secondary surgical closure, and 135 treated with primary surgery. Patients who received supportive therapy for patent ductus arteriosus did not differ from subjects treated with indomethacin only for any of the outcomes of interest. Compared with indomethacin treatment only, patients undergoing primary or secondary surgery were smaller and more premature. When compared with indomethacin alone, primary surgery was associated with increased adjusted odds for neurodevelopmental impairment and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in multivariable logistic regression. Secondary surgical closure was associated with increased odds for neurodevelopmental impairment and increased adjusted odds for bronchopulmonary dysplasia but decreased adjusted odds for death. Risk of necrotizing enterocolitis did not differ among treatments. Indomethacin prophylaxis did not significantly modify these results.
Our results suggest that infants treated with primary or secondary surgery for patent ductus arteriosus may be at increased risk for poor short- and long-term outcomes compared with those treated with indomethacin. Prophylaxis with indomethacin in the first 24 hours of life did not modify the subsequent outcomes of patent ductus arteriosus therapy.
PMCID: PMC2752886  PMID: 19171637
patent ductus arteriosus; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; necrotizing enterocolitis; neurodevelopmental impairment; therapy ductus arteriosus
20.  Community Supports After Surviving Extremely Low-Birth-Weight, Extremely Preterm Birth 
To determine special outpatient services (SOS) use, need, associated factors, and neurodevelopmental and functional outcomes among extremely preterm infants at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age.
Retrospective analysis.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network.
Infants younger than 28 weeks’ gestational age who had been born weighing less than 1000 g at an NICHD Neonatal Research Network center from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2000, and who were receiving follow-up at 18 to 22 months’ corrected age.
Questionnaires were administered at the 18- to 22-month follow-up visit regarding SOS use since hospital discharge and the current need for SOS (social work, visiting nurse, medical specialty, early intervention, speech and language services, occupational therapy and physical therapy, and neurodevelopmental and behavioral services).
Main Outcome Measures
The use of and need for SOS were analyzed by gestational age. Logistic regression analysis identified factors independently associated with the use of more than 5 services and with the need for any services.
Of 2315 infants, 54.7% used more than 3 SOS by 18 to 22 months, and 19.1% used 6 to 7 SOS. The need for any SOS was reported by approximately 37%. The following variables that were commonly associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes were also associated with the use of more than 5 SOS: sepsis, birth weight, postnatal corticosteroid use, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and cystic periventricular leukomalacia or grade 3 or 4 intraventricular hemorrhage. Male sex was associated with the need for any SOS. Although high SOS use was more likely among children with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, a reported need for SOS was common even among those with mild developmental impairment (39.7%) and mild cerebral palsy (42.2%).
High SOS use is common, has identifiable neonatal risk factors, and is associated with neurodevelopmental impairment. Extremely preterm survivors have substantial need for community supports regardless of their impairment level. Efforts to improve comprehensive delivery of family-centered community-based services are urgently needed.
PMCID: PMC2748992  PMID: 18678807
21.  Mortality, Neonatal Morbidity and Two Year Follow-Up of Extremely Preterm Infants Born in the Netherlands in 2007 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41302.
Extremely preterm infants are at high risk of neonatal mortality and adverse outcome. Survival rates are slowly improving, but increased survival may come at the expense of more handicaps.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Prospective population-based cohort study of all infants born at 23 to 27 weeks of gestation in the Netherlands in 2007. 276 of 345 (80%) infants were born alive. Early neonatal death occurred in 96 (34.8%) live born infants, including 61 cases of delivery room death. 29 (10.5%) infants died during the late neonatal period. Survival rates for live born infants at 23, 24, 25 and 26 weeks of gestation were 0%, 6.7%, 57.9% and 71% respectively. 43.1% of 144 surviving infants developed severe neonatal morbidity (retinopathy of prematurity grade ≥3, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or severe brain injury). At two years of age 70.6% of the children had no disability, 17.6% was mild disabled and 11.8% had a moderate-to-severe disability. Severe brain injury (p = 0.028), retinopathy of prematurity grade ≥3 (p = 0.024), low gestational age (p = 0.019) and non-Dutch nationality of the mother (p = 0.004) increased the risk of disability.
52% of extremely preterm infants born in the Netherlands in 2007 survived. Surviving infants had less severe neonatal morbidity compared to previous studies. At two years of age less than 30% of the infants were disabled. Disability was associated with gestational age and neonatal morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3402477  PMID: 22911776
22.  Capacity building of nurses providing neonatal care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: methods for the POINTS of care project to enhance nursing education and reduce adverse neonatal outcomes 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:3.
Increased survival of preterm infants in developing countries has often been accompanied by increased morbidity. A previous study found rates of severe retinopathy of prematurity varied widely between different neonatal units in Rio de Janeiro. Nurses have a key role in the care of high-risk infants but often do not have access to ongoing education programmes. We set out to design a quality improvement project that would provide nurses with the training and tools to decrease neonatal mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this report is to describe the methods and make the teaching package (POINTS of care--six modules addressing Pain control; optimal Oxygenation; Infection control; Nutrition interventions; Temperature control; Supportive care) available to others.
Six neonatal units, caring for 40% of preterm infants in Rio de Janeiro were invited to participate. In Phase 1 of the study multidisciplinary workshops were held in each neonatal unit to identify the neonatal morbidities of interest and to plan for data collection. In Phase 2 the teaching package was developed and tested. Phase 3 consisted of 12 months data collection utilizing a simple tick-sheet for recording. In Phase 4 (the Intervention) all nurses were asked to complete all six modules of the POINTS of care package, which was supplemented by practical demonstrations. Phase 5 consisted of a further 12 months data collection. In Phase 1 it was agreed to include inborn infants with birthweight ≤ 1500 g or gestational age of ≤ 34 weeks. The primary outcome was death before discharge and secondary outcomes included retinopathy of prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Assuming 400-450 infants in both pre- and post-intervention periods the study had 80% power at p = < 0.05 to detect an increase in survival from 68% to 80%; a reduction in need for supplementary oxygen at 36 weeks post menstrual age from 11% to 5.5% and a reduction in retinopathy of prematurity requiring treatment from 7% to 2.5%.
The results of the POINTS of Care intervention will be presented in a separate publication.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN83110114
PMCID: PMC3395837  PMID: 22409747
Brazil; Neonatal care; Neonatal nursing; Quality improvement; Neonatal mortality; Premature infant; Retinopathy of prematurity; Education; Continual professional development
23.  Bronchopulmonary dysplasia and neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely preterm neonates 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2013;172(9):1173-1180.
We tested the hypothesis that the use of supplemental oxygen (sO2) at discharge from the NICU in extremely preterm neonates is associated with a greater risk of neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) at 18 months corrected gestational age (CGA) than the risk of NDI of those neonates discharged in room air. Four hundred twenty-four charts were retrospectively reviewed from infants born at <27 weeks and transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital from December 1, 2004 to June 14, 2010. Use of sO2 was evaluated on day of life (dol) 28, at 36 weeks post-menstrual age (PMA), and at discharge. Logistic regression was used to identify postnatal risk factors associated with sO2 at discharge and NDI. At dol 28, 96 % of surviving patients received sO2, and therefore had bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) by definition from a National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development workshop. At 36 weeks PMA, 89 % continued on sO2 (moderate/severe BPD), and at discharge, 74 % continued on sO2. When factors associated with NDI were examined, the need for mechanical ventilation ≥28 days (adjOR = 3.21, p = 0.01), grade III–IV intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (adjOR = 4.61, p < 0.01), and discharge at >43 weeks PMA (adjOR = 2.12, p = 0.04) were the strongest predictors of NDI at 18 months CGA. There was no difference in Bayley Scales of Infant Development, third edition composite scores between patients with no/mild BPD and patients with moderate/severe BPD (cognitive p = 0.60, communication p = 0.53, motor p = 0.19) or those scores between patients on and off oxygen at discharge (cognitive p = 0.58, communication p = 0.70, motor p = 0.62). Conclusions: The need for sO2 at discharge is not associated with an increased risk of NDI in these patients. The strongest predictors of poor neurodevelopmental outcome in this population were prolonged positive pressure support, grade III–IV IVH, and discharge at >43 weeks PMA.
PMCID: PMC3742432  PMID: 23644648
Mechanical ventilation; Supplemental oxygen; Very low birth weight; Intraventricular hemorrhage; Necrotizing enterocolitis
24.  Gene Expression Profiling in Preterm Infants: New Aspects of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Development  
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78585.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is one of the most serious complications observed in premature infants. Thanks to microarray technique, expression of nearly all human genes can be reliably evaluated.
To compare whole genome expression in the first month of life in groups of infants with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
111 newborns were included in the study. The mean birth weight was 1029g (SD:290), and the mean gestational age was 27.8 weeks (SD:2.5). Blood samples were drawn from the study participants on the 5th, 14th and 28th day of life. The mRNA samples were evaluated for gene expression with the use of GeneChip® Human Gene 1.0 ST microarrays. The infants were divided into two groups: bronchopulmonary dysplasia (n=68) and control (n=43).
Overall 2086 genes were differentially expressed on the day 5, only 324 on the day 14 and 3498 on the day 28. Based on pathway enrichment analysis we found that the cell cycle pathway was up-regulated in the bronchopulmonary dysplasia group. The activation of this pathway does not seem to be related with the maturity of the infant. Four pathways related to inflammatory response were continuously on the 5th, 14th and 28th day of life down-regulated in the bronchopulmonary dysplasia group. However, the expression of genes depended on both factors: immaturity and disease severity. The most significantly down-regulated pathway was the T cell receptor signaling pathway.
The results of the whole genome expression study revealed alteration of the expression of nearly 10% of the genome in bronchopulmonary dysplasia patients.
PMCID: PMC3806835  PMID: 24194948
25.  Association of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia and Hypercarbia in Ventilated Infants with Birth Weights of 500–1,499 g 
Maternal and Child Health Journal  2011;15(Suppl 1):S17-S26.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) continues to be a major pulmonary complication in very low birth weight (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) survivors of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Many factors including partial pressures of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) have been implicated as possible causes. Permissive hypercapnia has become a more common practice in ventilated infants, but its effect on BPD is unclear. The hypothesis of this study was that hypercarbia is associated with increased BPD in infants with birth weights of 500–1,499 g. Nine hospitals were involved in this observational cohort study. Maternal and infant information including socio-demographics, antenatal steroids, gender, race, gestational age, birth weight, intubation and ventilator status, physiologic variables and data on therapies were collected by chart abstraction. SNAP scores were assigned. Candidate BPD risk factors, including cumulative exposures derived from blood gas and ventilation data in the first 6 days of life, were identified. Risk models were developed for 425 preterm infants who survived to 36 weeks post-menstrual age. BPD occurrence was associated with the cumulative burden of MAP >0 cm H2O in the first 6 days of life (P < 0.0001). After adjustment for the burden of MAP, the occurrence of hypercarbia (Paco2 >50 torr) was associated with a greater incidence of BPD (P = 0.024). Among 293 intubated, mechanically ventilated infants, those with hypercarbia occurring only when MAP B8 cm H2O, a scenario more comparable to permissive hypercapnia, also had increased BPD incidence compared to infants without hypercarbia (P = 0.0003). Hypercarbia during the first 6 days of life was associated with increased incidence of BPD in these infants. Mechanically ventilated infants with hypercarbia during low MAP also had a significant increase in BPD. Permissive hypercapnia in ventilated infants needs further close review before the practice becomes even more widespread.
PMCID: PMC3397775  PMID: 21863239
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Hypercapnia; Hypercarbia; Extremely low birth weight and very low birth weight infants; Ventilated

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