OBJECTIVES: To assess longitudinally small airway function in children born extremely prematurely and whether there was a correlation between airway function in infancy and at 11-14 years.

WORKING HYPOTHESES: There would be tracking of airways obstruction and small airway function would deteriorate during childhood in those born extremely prematurely.

STUDY DESIGN: A longitudinal study.

PATIENT-SUBJECT SELECTION: Thirty-five children with a mean gestational age of 26 weeks had lung function assessed at 1 year corrected and 11-14 years of age.

METHODOLOGY: Lung volumes were measured by helium gas dilution (FRCHe ) and plethysmography (FRCpleth ) and small airway function assessed by calculating the FRCHe :FRCpleth ratio. Airway function was assessed at 1 year corrected by measurement of airway resistance (Raw ) and at 11-14 years by assessment of Raw , forced expiratory flow from 75% of vital capacity (FEF75 ), and forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1 ).

RESULTS: At the first assessment, the children had a mean (SD) FRCHe :FRCpleth of 0.90 (0.13) and at the second, 0.83 (0.12) (P = 0.035). There was a significant 0.54% decrease (95%CI: -1.02%, -0.06%) in FRCHe :FRCpleth for increased age per year after adjusting for birth weight, gestational age, sex, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (P = 0.027). There were significant correlations between Raw at the first assessment and Raw (P = 0.012), FEF75 (P = 0.034), and FEV1 (P = 0.04) at 11-14 years.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate in those born extremely prematurely there is tracking of airway function during childhood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Early online date9 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2018


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