Ventilation in Extremely Preterm Infants and Respiratory Function at 8 Years

Doyle et al, N Engl J Med. 2017 Jul


Assisted ventilation for extremely preterm infants (<28 weeks of gestation) has become less invasive, but it is unclear whether such developments in care are associated with improvemen

ts in short-term or long-term lung function. We compared changes over time in the use of assisted ventilation and oxygen therapy during the newborn period and in lung function at 8 years of age in children whose birth was extremely premature.


A longitudinal follow-up of all survivors of extremely preterm birth who were born in Victoria, Australia, in three periods — the years 1991 and 1992 (225 infants), 1997 (151 infants), and 2005 (170 infants). 


Despite substantial increases in the use of less invasive ventilation after birth, there was no significant decline in oxygen dependence at 36 weeks and no significant improvement in lung function in childhood over time.