Current guidelines, initially published in 1995, recommend antenatal corticosteroids for mothers with preterm labor from 24–34 weeks gestational age, but not before 24 weeks because of lack of data. However, many infants born before 24 weeks are provided intensive care now.
To determine if antenatal corticosteroids are associated with improvement in major outcomes in infants born at 22 and 23 weeks.
Design, Setting, Participants
Data for this cohort study were collected prospectively on 401–1000 gram inborn infants (N=10,541) of 22–25 weeks gestation born between 1993–2009 at 23 academic perinatal centers in the United States. Certified examiners unaware of exposure to antenatal corticosteroids performed follow-up examinations on 4,924 (86.5%) of the infants born in 1993–2008 who survived to 18–22 months. Logistic regression models generated adjusted odds ratios, controlling for maternal and neonatal variables.
Main Outcome Measures
Mortality and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months corrected age
Death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months was lower for infants whose mothers received antenatal corticosteroids born at 23 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 83.4% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 90.5%; adjusted odds ratio 0.58; 95% CI, 0.42–0.80), at 24 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 68.4% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 80.3%; adjusted odds ratio 0.62; 95% CI, 0.49–0.78), and at 25 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 52.7% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 67.9%; adjusted odds ratio 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50–0.74) but not at 22 weeks (antenatal corticosteroids, 90.2% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 93.1%; adjusted odds ratio 0.80; 95% CI, 0.29–12.21). Death by 18–22 months, hospital death, death/intraventricular hemorrhage/periventricular leukomalacia, and death/necrotizing enterocolitis were significantly lower for infants born at 23, 24, and 25 weeks gestational age if the mothers had received antenatal corticosteroids but the only outcome significantly lower at 22 weeks was death/necrotizing enterocolitis (antenatal corticosteroids, 73.5% vs no antenatal corticosteroids, 84.5%; adjusted odds ratio 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30–0.97).
Among infants born at 23–25 weeks gestation, use of antenatal corticosteroids compared to non-use was associated with a lower rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18–22 months.
prematurity; infant mortality; neonatal intensive care; neurodevelopmental impairment; lung maturation; limits of viability
Decreases below target temperature were noted among neonates undergoing cooling in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network Trial of whole body hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
To examine the temperature profile and impact on outcome among ≥ 36 week gestation neonates randomized at ≤ 6 hours of age targeting esophageal temperature of 33.5°C for 72 hours.
Infants with intermittent temperatures recorded < 32.0°C during induction and maintenance of cooling were compared to all other cooled infants and relationship with outcome at 18 months was evaluated.
There were no differences in stage of encephalopathy, acidosis, or 10 minute Apgar scores between infants with temperatures < 32.0°C during induction (n=33) or maintenance (n=10) and all other infants who were cooled (n=58); however birth weight was lower and need for blood pressure support higher among infants with temperatures < 32.0 °C compared to all other cooled infants. No increase in acute adverse events were noted among infants with temperatures < 32.0 °C and hours spent < 32°C were not associated with the primary outcome of death or moderate/severe disability or the Bayley II Mental Developmental Index at 18 months.
Term infants with a lower birth weight are at risk for decreasing temperatures < 32.0°C while undergoing body cooling using a servo controlled system. This information suggests extra caution during the application of hypothermia as these lower birth weight infants are at risk for overcooling. Our findings may assist in planning additional trials of lower target temperature for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
temperature; hypothermia; newborn; hypoxia-ischemia; encephalopathy; whole-body cooling
Data from the whole body hypothermia trial was analyzed to examine the effects of phenobarbital administration prior to cooling (+PB) on the esophageal temperature (Te) profile, during the induction phase of hypothermia. A total of 98 infants were analyzed. At enrollment, +PB infants had a higher rate of severe HIE and clinical seizures and lower Te and cord pH than infants that have not received PB (−PB). There was a significant effect of PB itself and an interaction between PB and time in the Te profile. Mean Te in the +PB group was lower than in the −PB group and the differences decreased over time. In +PB infants the time to surpass target Te of 33.5°C and to reach the minimum Te during overshoot were shorter. In conclusion, the administration of PB prior to cooling was associated with changes that may reflect a reduced thermogenic response associated with barbiturates.
phenobarbital; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; hypothermia; temperature control
To determine if selected pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines/mediators of inflammation reported to be related to development of cerebral palsy predict neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely low birth weight infants.
Infants with birth weights ≤ 1000 g (n=1067) had blood samples collected at birth and on days 3±1, 7±1, 14±3, and 21±3 to examine the association between cytokines and neurodevelopmental outcomes. The analyses were focused on five cytokines (IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-α, RANTES, and IL-2) reported to be most predictive of CP in term and late preterm infants.
IL-8 was higher on days 0–4 and subsequently in infants who developed CP compared with infants who did not develop CP in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Other cytokines (IL-12, IL-17, TNF-β, SIL-rα, MIP-1β) were found to be altered on days 0–4 in infants who developed CP.
CP in former preterm infants may, in part, have a late perinatal and/or early neonatal inflammatory origin.
We previously reported early results of a randomized trial of whole-body hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy showing a significant reduction in the rate of death or moderate or severe disability at 18 to 22 months of age. Long-term outcomes are now available.
In the original trial, we assigned infants with moderate or severe encephalopathy to usual care (the control group) or whole-body cooling to an esophageal temperature of 33.5°C for 72 hours, followed by slow rewarming (the hypothermia group). We evaluated cognitive, attention and executive, and visuospatial function; neurologic outcomes; and physical and psychosocial health among participants at 6 to 7 years of age. The primary outcome of the present analyses was death or an IQ score below 70.
Of the 208 trial participants, primary outcome data were available for 190. Of the 97 children in the hypothermia group and the 93 children in the control group, death or an IQ score below 70 occurred in 46 (47%) and 58 (62%), respectively (P = 0.06); death occurred in 27 (28%) and 41 (44%) (P = 0.04); and death or severe disability occurred in 38 (41%) and 53 (60%) (P = 0.03). Other outcome data were available for the 122 surviving children, 70 in the hypothermia group and 52 in the control group. Moderate or severe disability occurred in 24 of 69 children (35%) and 19 of 50 children (38%), respectively (P = 0.87). Attention–executive dysfunction occurred in 4% and 13%, respectively, of children receiving hypothermia and those receiving usual care (P = 0.19), and visuospatial dysfunction occurred in 4% and 3% (P = 0.80).
The rate of the combined end point of death or an IQ score of less than 70 at 6 to 7 years of age was lower among children undergoing whole-body hypothermia than among those undergoing usual care, but the differences were not significant. However, hypothermia resulted in lower death rates and did not increase rates of severe disability among survivors. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00005772.)
Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) is an effective therapy for pulmonary hypertension and hypoxic respiratory failure in term infants. Fourteen randomized controlled trials (n = 3430 infants) have been conducted on preterm infants at risk for chronic lung disease (CLD). The study results seem contradictory.
Individual-patient data meta-analysis included randomized controlled trials of preterm infants (<37 weeks' gestation). Outcomes were adjusted for trial differences and correlation between siblings.
Data from 3298 infants in 12 trials (96%) were analyzed. There was no statistically significant effect of iNO on death or CLD (59% vs 61%: relative risk [RR]: 0.96 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.92–1.01]; P = .11) or severe neurologic events on imaging (25% vs 23%: RR: 1.12 [95% CI: 0.98–1.28]; P = .09). There were no statistically significant differences in iNO effect according to any of the patient-level characteristics tested. In trials that used a starting iNO dose of >5 vs ≤5 ppm there was evidence of improved outcome (interaction P = .02); however, these differences were not observed at other levels of exposure to iNO. This result was driven primarily by 1 trial, which also differed according to overall dose, duration, timing, and indication for treatment; a significant reduction in death or CLD (RR: 0.85 [95% CI: 0.74–0.98]) was found.
Routine use of iNO for treatment of respiratory failure in preterm infants cannot be recommended. The use of a higher starting dose might be associated with improved outcome, but because there were differences in the designs of these trials, it requires further examination.
inhaled nitric oxide; chronic lung disease; respiratory disease; preterm infants; individual-patient data meta-analysis
We examined the association between elevated concentrations of 25 blood proteins in blood spots collected on postnatal days 1, 7, and 14 from infants < 28 weeks gestation who survived to 24 months and the risk of two patterns of early lung disease i.e., early and persistent pulmonary dysfunction (EPPD), and normal early pulmonary function followed by pulmonary deterioration (PD). 38% (N=347) of our cohort had PD, and 43% (N=383) had EPPD. On postnatal day 14, elevated concentrations of two proteins (RANTES and VEGF) were associated with reduced risk of PD. Similarly, the risk of EPPD was also reduced if three proteins had elevated concentrations on postnatal day 14 (RANTES, MMP-1, and VEGF). In contrast, the risk of EPPD was increased if on day 14 two proteins had elevated concentrations (IL-8 and ICAM-1). Inflammation might influence the risk of EPPD and PD, or be a consequence of lung damage or therapies to minimize lung dysfunction.
To examine the predictive validity of the amplitude integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) and stage of encephalopathy among infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) eligible for therapeutic whole-body hypothermia.
Neonates were eligible for this prospective study if moderate or severe HIE occurred at <6 hours and an aEEG was obtained at <9 hours of age. The primary outcome was death or moderate/severe disability at 18 months.
There were 108 infants (71 with moderate HIE and 37 with severe HIE) enrolled in the study. aEEG findings were categorized as normal, with continuous normal voltage (n = 12) or discontinuous normal voltage (n = 12), or abnormal, with burst suppression (n = 22), continuous low voltage (n = 26), or flat tracing (n = 36). At 18 months, 53 infants (49%) experienced death or disability. Severe HIE and an abnormal aEEG were related to the primary outcome with univariate analysis, whereas severe HIE alone was predictive of outcome with multivariate analysis. Addition of aEEG pattern to HIE stage did not add to the predictive value of the model; the area under the curve changed from 0.72 to 0.75 (P = .19).
The aEEG background pattern did not significantly enhance the value of the stage of encephalopathy at study entry in predicting death and disability among infants with HIE.
neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; amplitude integrated EEG
Rationale: Benefits of identifying risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants include providing prognostic information, identifying infants likely to benefit from preventive strategies, and stratifying infants for clinical trial enrollment.
Objectives: To identify risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the competing outcome of death, by postnatal day; to identify which risk factors improve prediction; and to develop a Web-based estimator using readily available clinical information to predict risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death.
Methods: We assessed infants of 23–30 weeks' gestation born in 17 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and enrolled in the Neonatal Research Network Benchmarking Trial from 2000–2004.
Measurements and Main Results: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined as a categorical variable (none, mild, moderate, or severe). We developed and validated models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia risk at six postnatal ages using gestational age, birth weight, race and ethnicity, sex, respiratory support, and FiO2, and examined the models using a C statistic (area under the curve). A total of 3,636 infants were eligible for this study. Prediction improved with advancing postnatal age, increasing from a C statistic of 0.793 on Day 1 to a maximum of 0.854 on Day 28. On Postnatal Days 1 and 3, gestational age best improved outcome prediction; on Postnatal Days 7, 14, 21, and 28, type of respiratory support did so. A Web-based model providing predicted estimates for bronchopulmonary dysplasia by postnatal day is available at https://neonatal.rti.org.
Conclusions: The probability of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants can be determined accurately using a limited amount of readily available clinical information.
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; low-birth-weight infant
To evaluate whether differences in early nutritional support provided to extremely premature infants mediate the effect of critical illness on later outcomes, we examined whether nutritional support provided to “more critically ill” infants differs from that provided to “less critically ill” infants during the initial weeks of life, and if, after controlling for critical illness, that difference is associated with growth and rates of adverse outcomes. 1366 participants in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network parenteral glutamine supplementation randomized controlled trial who were alive on day of life 7 were stratified by whether they received mechanical ventilation for the first 7 days of life. Compared to more critically ill infants, less critically ill infants received significantly more total nutritional support during each of the first 3 weeks of life, had significantly faster growth velocities, less moderate/severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia, less late-onset sepsis, less death, shorter hospital stays, and better neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18–22 months corrected age. Rates of necrotizing enterocolitis were similar. Adjusted analyses using general linear and logistic regression modeling and a formal mediation framework demonstrated that the influence of critical illness on the risk of adverse outcomes was mediated by total daily energy intake during the first week of life.
To evaluate the association between early hypocarbia and 18-22 month outcome among neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Data from the NICHD NRN randomized controlled trial of whole body hypothermia for neonatal HIE were used for this secondary observational study. Infants (n=204) had multiple blood gases recorded from birth-12h of study intervention (hypothermia vs. intensive care alone). The relationship between hypocarbia and outcome (death/disability at 18-22 months) was evaluated by unadjusted and adjusted analyses examining minimum PCO2 and cumulative exposure to PCO2 <35 mmHg. The relationship between cumulative PCO2 <35 mmHg (calculated as the difference between 35mmHg and the sampled PCO2 multiplied by the duration of time spent <35 mmHg) and outcome was evaluated by level of exposure (none-high) using a multiple logistic regression analysis with adjustments for pH, level of encephalopathy, treatment group (± hypothermia), time to spontaneous respiration and ventilator days; results were expressed as OR and 95% confidence intervals. Alternative models of CO2 concentration were explored to account for fluctuations in CO2.
Both minimum PCO2 and cumulative PCO2 <35mmHg were associated with poor outcome (P<0.05). Moreover, death/disability increased with greater cumulative exposure to PCO2 <35mmHg.
Hypocarbia is associated with poor outcome following HIE.
hypocarbia; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; whole body hypothermia; outcome; neurodevelopmental impairment
Lung inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and may be accompanied by a systematic inflammatory response. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of systemic inflammation in the development of BPD in a cohort of extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs) by examining the relationships between inflammation-associated proteins in neonatal blood samples and pulmonary outcomes. Proteins were measured in blood specimens collected on postnatal days 1–3, 5–8 and 12–15 from 932 ELGANs. Increased risk of BPD was associated with elevated blood concentrations of a variety of pro-inflammatory cytokines, adhesion molecules and proteases. Reduced risk was prominently associated with increased concentrations of one chemokine, RANTES. Elevations of inflammatory proteins associated with BPD risk occurred during the first days following birth, and inflammation intensified thereafter. Therefore, exposures that promote inflammation after the first postnatal days may be more critical in the pathogenesis of BPD. Fetal growth restriction, a known BPD risk factor, was not accompanied by proteins elevations and therefore does not appear to be mediated by systemic inflammation. By contrast, mechanical ventilation altered protein levels and may be associated with systemic inflammation.
It remains controversial as to whether neonatal seizures have additional direct effects on the developing brain separate from the severity of the underlying encephalopathy. Using data collected from infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and who were enrolled in an National Institute of Child Health and Human Development trial of hypothermia, we analyzed associations between neonatal clinical seizures and outcomes at 18 months of age. Of the 208 infants enrolled, 102 received whole body hypothermia and 106 were controls. Clinical seizures were generally noted during the first 4 days of life and rarely afterward. When adjustment was made for study treatment and severity of encephalopathy, seizures were not associated with death, or moderate or severe disability, or lower Bayley Mental Development Index scores at 18 months of life. Among infants diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, the mortality and morbidity often attributed to neonatal seizures can be better explained by the underlying severity of encephalopathy.
neonatal seizures; whole-body hypothermia; neurodevelopmental outcome; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
This study tested the hypothesis that preterm infants who had a blood gas derangement on at least 2 of the first 3 postnatal days are at increased risk for more severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
1,042 infants born before 28 weeks’ gestational age (GA) were included. An infant was considered to be exposed if his/her blood gas measure was in the highest or lowest quartile for GA on at least 2 of the first 3 postnatal days.
Multivariable models adjusting for confounders indicate that exposure to a PCO2 in the highest quartile predicts ROP (stage 3, 4 or 5: OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.3); zone 1: 2.0, 1.1–3.6; prethreshold/threshold: 1.9, 1.2–3.0; plus disease: 1.8, 1.1–2.9). Estimates are similar for a low pH for zone 1 (2.1, 1.2–3.8), prethreshold/threshold (1.8, 1.1–2.8), but did not quite achieve statistical significance for ROP stage 3, 4, or 5 (1.4, 0.9–2.0) and plus disease (1.5, 0.9–2.4). A PaO2 in the highest quartile for GA on at least 2 of the first 3 postnatal days was associated with a doubling of the risk of ROP in zone 1 (2.5, 1.4–4.4) and of prethreshold/threshold disease (2.1, 1.4–3.3), a 70% risk increase for plus disease (1.7, 1.04–2.8), while a 40% risk increase for ROP stage 3 or higher did not achieve statistical significance (1.4, 0.96–2.0).
Infants exposed to high PCO2, low pH and high PaO2 appear to be at increased risk of more severe ROP.
Retinopathy of prematurity; Hypercapnia; Hyperoxemia; Acidemia; Extremely low gestational age
We sought to define the risk of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) as a function of both lecithin/sphingomyelin (L/S) ratio and gestational age. Amniotic fluid L/S ratio data were collected from consecutive women undergoing amniocentesis for fetal lung maturity at Yale-New Haven Hospital from January 1998 to December 2004. Women were included in the study if they delivered a live-born, singleton, nonanomalous infant within 72 hours of amniocentesis. The probability of RDS was modeled using multivariate logistic regression with L/S ratio and gestational age as predictors. A total of 210 mother-neonate pairs (8 RDS, 202 non-RDS) met criteria for analysis. Both gestational age and L/S ratio were independent predictors of RDS. A probability of RDS of 3% or less was noted at an L/S ratio cutoff of ≥3.4 at 34 weeks, ≥2.6 at 36 weeks, ≥1.6 at 38 weeks, and ≥1.2 at term. Under 34 weeks of gestation, the prevalence of RDS was so high that a probability of 3% or less was not observed by this model. These data describe a means of stratifying the probability of neonatal RDS using both gestational age and the L/S ratio and may aid in clinical decision making concerning the timing of delivery.
Respiratory distress syndrome; lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio; fetal lung maturity
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.
extremely low gestation; very low birth weight; morbidity; death
To assess the association between urinary lactate to creatinine ratio (ULCR) and neurodevelopmental outcome in term infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and examine the effect of hypothermia on the change in ULCR.
Spot urine samples were collected in 58 term infants (28 hypothermia, 30 control subjects) with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Urinary lactate and creatinine were measured by using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and expressed as ULCR. Survivors were examined at 18 months of age.
The ULCR was significantly higher in infants who died or had moderate/severe neurodevelopmental disability. Logistic regression analysis controlling for hypothermia and severity of encephalopathy confirmed the association (adjusted odds ratio, 5.52; 95% CI, 1.36, 22.42; P < .02). Considerable overlap in ULCR was observed between infants with normal/mild disability and those who died or survived with moderate/severe disability. ULCR fell significantly between 6 and 24 hours and 48 and 72 hours of age for all infants. The magnitude of decline did not differ between hypothermia and control groups.
High ULCR is associated with death or moderate/severe neurodevelopmental disability. Significant overlap in values between the normal/mild and moderate/severe disability groups limits predictive value of this measure. Whole-body hypothermia did not affect the decline in ULCR.
Current literature suggests that use of synchronized nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (SNIPPV), following extubation, reduces the rate of reintubation compared to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP). However, there is limited information available on the outcomes of infants managed with SNIPPV.
To compare the outcomes of infants managed with SNIPPV (postextubation or for apnea) to infants not treated with SNIPPV at 2 sites.
Clinical retrospective data was used to evaluate the use of SNIPPV in infants ≤1250 g birth weight (BW); and 3 BW subgroups (500 –750, 751–1000, and 1001–1250 g, decided a priori). SNIPPV was not assigned randomly. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) was defined as treatment with supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age.
Overall, infants who were treated with SNIPPV had significantly lower mean BW (863g vs. 964g) and gestational age (26.4 weeks vs. 27.9 weeks), more frequently received surfactant (85% vs. 68%), and had a higher incidence of BPD or death (39% vs. 27%) (all p<0.01), compared to infants treated with NCPAP. In the subgroup analysis, SNIPPV was associated with lower rates of BPD (43% vs 67%, P = .03) and BPD/death (51% vs 76%, P = .02) in the 500- to 750g infants, with no significant differences in the other BW groups. Logistic regression analysis, adjusting for significant covariates, revealed infants with 500 –700-g BW who received SNIPPV were significantly less likely to have the outcomes of BPD (OR: 0.29 [95% CI: 0.11– 0.77]; P = .01), BPD/death (OR: 0.30 [95% CI: 0.11– 0.79]; P = .01), neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) (OR: 0.29 [95% CI: 0.09–0.94]; P = .04), and NDI/death (OR: 0.18 [95% CI: 0.05– 0.62]; P = .006).
SNIPPV use in infants at greatest risk of BPD or death (500-750g) was associated with decreased BPD, BPD/death, NDI, and NDI/death when compared to infants managed with NCPAP.
premature newborn; respiratory distress syndrome; non-invasive ventilation
Improvement in survival of extremely premature infants over the past several decades has resulted in an increase in the number infants with chronic lung disease (CLD). Historical neonatal exposures associated with CLD now less frequently precede the disease. There is now increasing interest in exposures and events before delivery that predict CLD. The objective of this study was to identify current antenatal predictors of CLD.
Patients and Methods
We collected data about antenatal, placental and neonatal characteristics of 1241 newborns delivered before completion of the 28th week of gestation who were enrolled in a 14-center, observational study conducted during the years 2002-2004. Associations between antenatal factors, microbiologic and histologic characteristics of the placenta, and selected neonatal characteristics and CLD risk were first evaluated in univariate analyses. Subsequent multivariate analyses investigated the contribution of antenatal factors, particularly fetal growth restriction (FGR), to CLD risk.
Among the antenatal factors, birth weight Z-score, used as a marker of FGR, provided the most information about CLD risk. Indicators of placental inflammation and infection were not associated with increased risk of CLD. Within nearly all strata of antenatal, placental and neonatal variables, growth restricted infants were at increased CLD risk compared with infants who were not growth restricted. FGR was the only maternal or antenatal characteristic that was highly predictive of CLD after adjustment for other risk factors.
FGR is independently associated with the risk of CLD. Thus factors that control fetal somatic growth may have a significant impact on vulnerability to lung injury, and in this way increase CLD risk. Future investigations should focus on the impact of FGR on growth factors that modulate lung growth.
chronic lung disease; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; preterm infant
Extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs) are at increased risk of chronic lung disease (CLD) and of developmental delay. Some studies have suggested that CLD contributes to developmental delay.
Patients and Methods
We examined data collected prospectively on 915 infants born before the 28th week of gestation in 2002–2004 who were assessed at 24 months of age with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-2nd Edition or the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. We excluded infants who were not able to walk independently (Gross Motor Function Classification System score < 1) and, therefore, more likely to have functionally important fine motor impairments. We defined CLD as receipt of oxygen at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age and classified infants as either not receiving mechanical ventilation (MV) (CLD without MV) or receiving MV (CLD with MV).
Forty-nine percent of ELGANs had CLD; of these, 14% were receiving MV at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. ELGANs without CLD had the lowest risk of a Mental Developmental Index (MDI) or a Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) of <55, followed by ELGANs with CLD not receiving MV, and ELGANs with CLD receiving MV (9%, 12%, and 18% for the MDI and 7%, 10%, and 20% for the PDI, respectively). In time-oriented multivariate models, the risk of an MDI of <55 was associated with the following variables: gestational age of <25 weeks; single mother; late bacteremia; pneumothorax; and necrotizing enterocolitis. The risk of a PDI of <55 was associated with variables such as single mother, a complete course of antenatal corticosteroids, early and persistent pulmonary dysfunction, pulmonary deterioration during the second postnatal week, pneumothorax, and pulmonary interstitial emphysema. CLD, without or with MV, was not associated with the risk of either a low MDI or a low PDI. However, CLD with MV approached, but did not achieve, nominal statistical significance (odds ratio: 1.9 [95% confidence interval: 0.97–3.9]) for the association with a PDI of <55.
Among children without severe gross motor delays, risk factors for CLD account for the association between CLD and developmental delay. Once those factors are considered in time-oriented risk models, CLD does not seem to increase the risk of either a low MDI or a low PDI. However, severe CLD might increase the risk of a low PDI.
lung disease; prematurity; preterm infant; neurodevelopmental outcome
Perspective on the paper by Cooke (see page F189)
The goals of this study were to describe nutritional practices in the first month of life for a large cohort of extremely low gestational age newborns and to determine the impact of these nutritional practices on growth velocity over the same period.
The sample included 1187 infants born at 23 weeks to 27 weeks of gestation, at 14 institutions, between 2002 and 2004. Inclusion criteria included survival until day 28 and weight information for both day 7 and day 28. Growth velocity, expressed as grams per kilogram per day (g/kg/day), was calculated for the interval between days 7 and 28. Nutritional practices during the first week and on days 14, 21, and 28 were compared to current nutritional guidelines in the literature. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated the contribution of limited nutrition to limited growth velocity.
Protein and fat delivery approximated current nutritional recommendations while carbohydrate and total caloric delivery did not. Despite this, growth velocity of our study infants exceeded the current guideline of 15 g/kg/day. Nevertheless, we found extrauterine growth restriction (i.e., weight for gestational age below the 10th centile) in 75% of infants at 28 days, as compared to only 18% at birth. A growth velocity of 20-30 g/kg/day was associated with infants' maintaining or exceeding their birth weight Z-score, with rates in the upper range for the gestationally youngest infants. Early (day 7) nutritional practices were positively associated with growth velocity measured between days 7 and 28.
The early provision of nutrients is an important determinant of postnatal growth. Extrauterine growth restriction remains high in extremely premature infants even when they achieve a growth velocity rate within current guidelines.
Infant, premature; nutrition; growth velocity
Pulmonary disease among infants of <28 weeks' gestation (extremely low gestational age newborns) often has the following pattern: the infant starts out with little need for supplemental oxygen and ventilatory support in the first postnatal week but then has pulmonary deterioration in the second postnatal week, with an increased need for supplemental oxygen and respiratory support. We evaluated the antecedents and correlates of patterns of early lung disease, with particular emphasis on pulmonary deterioration, in a large cohort study (the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn [ELGAN] study).
Patients and Methods
We examined data collected prospectively on 1340 infants born between 2002 and 2004 at 23 to 27 completed weeks of gestation and who survived to 14 days. Pulmonary deterioration was defined as receipt of fraction of inspired oxygen <0.23 on any day between days 3 and 7 and receipt of fraction of inspired oxygen ≥ 0.25 on day 14.
One fifth (20%) of the infants had consistently low fraction of inspired oxygen, approximately two fifths (38%) had pulmonary deterioration, and the remaining approximately two fifths (43%) had consistently high fraction of inspired oxygen (early and persistent lung dysfunction). Compared with infants who had consistently low fraction of inspired oxygen, infants who experienced pulmonary deterioration had lower gestational ages and lower birth weights, had higher scores for neonatal acute physiology, and received more intensive modes of respiratory support. Gender, multifetal pregnancy, cesarean delivery, antenatal steroids, chorioamnionitis, and funisitis were not associated with pulmonary deterioration. The incidence of chronic lung disease, defined as oxygen therapy at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, was 17% in the consistently low fraction of inspired oxygen group, 51% in the pulmonary deterioration group, and 67% in the early and persistent pulmonary dysfunction group. The incidence of death in these 3 groups before 36 weeks' postmenstrual age was 1%, 3%, and 5%, respectively.
Nearly 40% of extremely low gestational age newborns experience pulmonary deterioration in the first 2 postnatal weeks, and half of these infants develop chronic lung disease. Indicators of developmental immaturity and illness severity were associated with both pulmonary deterioration and chronic lung disease. Studying the antecedents of pulmonary deterioration might provide new insights about chronic lung disease pathogenesis.
lung disease; prematurity; preterm infant
Preterm infants requiring assisted ventilation are at significant risk of both pulmonary and cerebral injury. Inhaled Nitric Oxide, an effective therapy for pulmonary hypertension and hypoxic respiratory failure in the full term infant, has also been studied in preterm infants. The most recent Cochrane review of preterm infants includes 11 studies and 3,370 participants. The results show a statistically significant reduction in the combined outcome of death or chronic lung disease (CLD) in two studies with routine use of iNO in intubated preterm infants. However, uncertainty remains as a larger study (Kinsella 2006) showed no significant benefit for iNO for this combined outcome. Also, trials that included very ill infants do not demonstrate significant benefit. One trial of iNO treatment at a later postnatal age reported a decrease in the incidence of CLD. The aim of this individual patient meta-analysis is to confirm or refute these potentially conflicting results and to determine the extent to which patient or treatment characteristics may explain the results and/or may predict benefit from inhaled Nitric Oxide in preterm infants.
The Meta-Analysis of Preterm Patients on inhaled Nitric Oxide (MAPPiNO) Collaboration will perform an individual patient data meta-analysis to answer these important clinical questions. Studies will be included if preterm infants receiving assisted ventilation are randomized to receive inhaled Nitric Oxide or to a control group. The individual patient data provided by the Collaborators will be analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis where possible. Binary outcomes will be analyzed using log-binomial regression models and continuous outcomes will be analyzed using linear fixed effects models. Adjustments for trial differences will be made by including the trial variable in the model specification.
Thirteen (13) trials, with a total of 3567 infants are eligible for inclusion in the MAPPiNO systematic review. To date 11 trials (n = 3298, 92% of available patients) have agreed to participate. Funding was successfully granted from Ikaria Inc as an unrestricted grant. A collaborative group was formed in 2006 with data collection commencing in 2007. It is anticipated that data analysis will commence in late 2009 with results being publicly available in 2010.
Since the late 1980s recombinant human erythropoietin (r-Epo) has been studied as an alternative to packed red blood cell (RBC) transfusion for the treatment of anemia of prematurity in very low birth weight (VLBW, <1500 grams) infants. Initial trials and reports focused on r-Epo’s ability to prevent or treat anemia of prematurity with the goal of eliminating RBC transfusion, but achieved limited success. Reduced volumes of blood sampling for laboratory tests and improved blood banking techniques have decreased the need for RBC transfusion. New concerns about the safety of r-Epo administration have emerged. Past cost-benefit analyses of r-Epo administration versus transfusion for the treatment of anemia of prematurity have been nearly balanced. Autologous transfusion, blood-sparing technologies, changes in RBC transfusion technique and safety, and further elucidation of the risk-benefit ratio of r-Epo therapy may change the cost-benefit analysis. The jury is still out with regard to the role of r-Epo therapy in the VLBW population.
erythropoietin; transfusion; very low birth weight; infant; premature