Ventilator flow data predict bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature neonates
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonERJ Open Research. 2018, 4 (1), 00099. 10.1183/23120541.00099-2017
Early prediction of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) may facilitate tailored management for neonates at risk. We investigated whether easily accessible flow data from a mechanical ventilator can predict BPD in neonates born extremely premature (EP). In a prospective population-based study of EP-born neonates, flow data were obtained from the ventilator during the first 48 h of life. Data were logged for >10 min and then converted to flow–volume loops using custom-made software. Tidal breathing parameters were calculated and averaged from ≥200 breath cycles, and data were compared between those who later developed moderate/severe and no/mild BPD. Of 33 neonates, 18 developed moderate/severe and 15 no/mild BPD. The groups did not differ in gestational age, surfactant treatment or ventilator settings. The infants who developed moderate/severe BPD had evidence of less airflow obstruction, significantly so for tidal expiratory flow at 50% of tidal expiratory volume (TEF50) expressed as a ratio of peak tidal expiratory flow (PTEF) (p=0.007). A compound model estimated by multiple logistic regression incorporating TEF50/PTEF, birthweight z-score and sex predicted moderate/severe BPD with good accuracy (area under the curve 0.893, 95% CI 0.735–0.973). This study suggests that flow data obtained from ventilators during the first hours of life may predict later BPD in premature neonates. Future and larger studies are needed to validate these findings and to determine their clinical usefulness.