Bronchial hyper-responsiveness after preterm birth
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Being born preterm often adversely affects later lung function. Airway obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) are common findings. Respiratory symptoms in asthma and in lung disease after preterm birth might appear similar, but clinical experience and studies indicate that symptoms secondary to preterm birth reflect a separate disease entity. BHR is a defining feature of asthma, but can also be found in other lung disorders and in subjects without respiratory symptoms. We review different methods to assess BHR, and findings reported from studies that have investigated BHR after preterm birth. The area appeared understudied with relatively few and heterogeneous articles identified, and lack of a pervasive understanding. BHR seemed related to low gestational age at delivery and a neonatal history of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. No studies reported associations between BHR after preterm birth and the markers of eosinophilic inflammatory airway responses typically found in asthma. This should be borne in mind when treating preterm born individuals with BHR and airway symptoms.