Navigation Links
Breathless babies: Preemies' lung function shows prolonged impairment

Many premature babies face serious health challenges, not the least of which is breathing. But now research suggests that even relatively healthy preemies confront deficits in lung function that last into their second year, if not longer.

We have shown that healthy preterm infants have reduced lung function in the first months of life that persists into the second year of life, said principle investigator of the research, Marcus Herbert Jones, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Healthy infants born prematurely may have smaller sized airways relative to the lung volume, he explained.

The research was published in the second issue for December of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical care medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

That premature infants have less well developed lungs than their full term counterparts is well established, but researchers were unsure if preemies underwent a catch-up period of lung function development. To determine if that was the case, Dr. Jones and colleagues recruited 26 preterm infants born between 30 and 34 weeks gestation and compared their lung development and function to that of full term infants at about 10 weeks of age, then again at an average age of 15 months.

They found that lung capacity and development relative to body size was similar between the groups, but airway function was consistently lower in the premature infants at both evaluations.

We were unable to detect a catch-up period during the study. There was no change in the rate of increase of lung function when compared to full term infants, said Dr. Jones.

Remarkably, the researchers also found that premature infants who had more fully developed lungs, thus less need for supplemental oxygen after birth, actually faced greater respiratory problems than those who required prolonged supplemental oxygen.

It is a counterintuitive finding, said Dr. Jones. My interpretation is that in preterm infants, supplemental oxygen may be a marker of a less mature lung, which may have a better long term respiratory prognosis than infants with accelerated maturation due to prenatal events such as infection and inflammation.

Maternal tobacco smoking was also associated with lower lung function in both premature and full term infants in both evaluations, suggesting a long lasting effect of smoke exposure on infant lung growth and development. The finding supports a number of other studies that have similarly found that maternal smoking adversely affects lung function in both full term and preterm infants.

While Dr. Jones and colleagues postulate that the preterm infants reduced lung function may be due to airways that do not develop at the same rate as their lung volume, they also highlight other possible explanations, including more compliant airways, increased bronchial tone, or decreased pulmonary elastic recoil, and advocate further research to determine why preterm infants face persistent deficits in lung function..

These subjects have decreased airway function not only in the first few months of life, but also at the one year follow-up evaluation, wrote Dr. Jones. The persistence of reduced expiratory flows in healthy preterm infants may contribute to their increased risk of respiratory illnesses early in life.


Contact: Keely Savoie
American Thoracic Society

Related biology news :

1. Leading cause of death in preemies might be controlled by resetting a molecular switch
2. Geron Demonstrates hESC-derived cardiomyocytes improve heart function after myocardial infarction
3. Device helps patients survive, regain function til transplant
4. Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and function
5. Systems Biology poised to revolutionize the understanding of cell function and disease
6. Women more depressed and men more impulsive with reduced serotonin functioning
7. Researchers expand efforts to explore functional landscape of the human genome
8. The endocannabinoids: Functional roles and therapeutic opportunities
9. Elevated nitric oxide in blood is key to high altitude function for Tibetans
10. Children with gene show reduced cognitive function
11. Unlocking the function of enzymes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015 ... with Eurofins Genomics for U.S. distribution of its ... DNA-seq kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq ... DNA to enable the preparation of NGS libraries ... in plasma for diagnostic and prognostic applications in ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a ... --> --> The report, Global Voice ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. ... at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought ... pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, ... the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share ... "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed ... 23, 2015, which will result in the issuance ... to the issuance of such shares, there will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: