Pulmonary Function Tests in Very Low Birth Weight Infants Screened for Pulmonary Hypertension: A Pilot Study

John D. Adair, Brendan Kelly, Diane Schilling, Kseniya Parkhotyuk, Ladawna Gievers, Amanda Kim, Brian Scottoline, Cindy T. McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To compare pulmonary function tests (PFTs), specifically respiratory system resistance (Rrs) and compliance (Crs), in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with and without pulmonary hypertension. Study design: Infants were included who underwent PFTs at 34-38 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) as part of our pulmonary hypertension screening guidelines for infants born at ≤1500 g requiring respiratory support at ≥34 weeks PMA. One pediatric cardiologist reviewed and estimated right ventricular or pulmonary arterial pressure and defined pulmonary hypertension as an estimated pulmonary arterial pressure or right ventricular pressure greater than one-half the systemic pressure. Rrs and Crs were measured with the single breath occlusion technique and functional residual capacity with the nitrogen washout method according to standardized criteria. Results: Twelve VLBW infants with pulmonary hypertension and 39 without pulmonary hypertension were studied. Those with pulmonary hypertension had significantly lower birth weight and a trend toward a lower gestational age. There were no other demographic differences between the groups. The infants with pulmonary hypertension had significantly higher Rrs (119 vs 78 cmH2O/L/s; adjusted P = .012) and significantly lower Crs/kg (0.71 vs 0.92 mL/cmH2O/kg; P = .04). Conclusions: In this pilot study of VLBW infants screened for pulmonary hypertension at 34-38 weeks PMA, those with pulmonary hypertension had significantly increased Rrs and decreased Crs compared with those without pulmonary hypertension. Additional studies are needed to further phenotype infants with evolving BPD and pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-226.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume237
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • newborn pulmonary function
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • respiratory compliance
  • respiratory resistance
  • very low birth weight infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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