Original Paper

European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 166, Issue 5, pp 473-483

First online:

Long-term outcome of preterm infants treated with nasal continuous positive airway pressure

  • Pia WintermarkAffiliated withDevelopmental Unit, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital (CHUV) and Lausanne Medical School Email author 
  • , Jean-François TolsaAffiliated withDevelopmental Unit, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital (CHUV) and Lausanne Medical School
  • , Guy Van MelleAffiliated withBiostatistics Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital (CHUV) and Lausanne Medical School
  • , Margarita Forcada-GuexAffiliated withDevelopmental Unit, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital (CHUV) and Lausanne Medical School
  • , Adrien C. MoessingerAffiliated withDevelopmental Unit, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital (CHUV) and Lausanne Medical School

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Abstract

This study’s aim was to assess neurodevelopmental and growth outcome until the age of 4 years of premature infants placed on early nCPAP, in the setting of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and follow-up program of the Division of Neonatology of the Department of Pediatrics of the University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland. All consecutive inborn infants weighing <1500 g or <32 weeks of gestational age admitted to the NICU during two periods of 12 months—7.1996–6.1997 and 7.1998–6.1999—were compared before and after the systematic application of early nCPAP. Of 172 infants admitted to the NICU, 150 (87%) survived. 126 (84%) were tested at 6 months’ corrected age, 121 (81%) at 18 months’ corrected age, and 117 (78%) at the age of 4 years. Detailed perinatal data were collected. Follow-up included neurological examination, developmental testing and measurement of growth parameters. Statistical analyses were performed. Early application of nCPAP and avoidance of mechanical ventilation showed no adverse effects on neurodevelopment and growth. A significantly higher developmental quotient was found in the nCPAP group at 18 months’ corrected age. Several trends were also noted in the nCPAP group with a decrease of intraventricular hemorrhage and in “abnormal neurodevelopment” at 6 months corrected age, a bigger head circumference at all different tested ages and a greater height at 6 and 18 months corrected ages. In conclusion, our study of developmental outcome documents the absence of any harmful effect of early application of nCPAP to treat respiratory failure in very low birthweight infants.

Keywords

Continuous positive airway pressure Neurodevelopment Growth Newborn Very low birthweight infants