PULMONARY FUNCTION AT TWO YEARS OF AGE IN PRETERM INFANTS WITH EARLY POSTNATAL (<12 Hrs) DEXAMETHASONE (D) THERAPY FOR PREVENTING BPD. † 1198

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D may affect lung growth. The effect of D therapy on long-term lung morbidity has rarely been studied. We examined the clinical resp. status (RDS score by Downes et al), blood chemistry, and pulmonary function (BICORE monitoring system, Irvine CA) on 116 (59 control C, 57 D) of 164 surviving infants who were enrolled in a double blind control trial of early D therapy(<12 hrs) for preventing BPD. All infants had severe RDS and required IMV shortly after birth. Saline or D (0.25 mg/kg/dose, 1-7 d; 0.12 mg/kg/dose, 8-14 d; 0.05 mg/kg/dose, 15-21 d; 0.02 mg/kg/dose, 22-28 d) was given i.v. Bid. Gr.C and D was comparable in B.W. (mean±SD 1.34±0.41 vs 1.38±0.33 kg), G.A. (29.5±2.5 vs 29.8±2.4 wks), Apgar score, initial blood gases, pH and IMV set-up. 41 in C and 21 in D had CLD judged at 28 postn day. The corrected age at time examined was similar (C 25.1±4.8; D 24.6±5.1 m) and the Wt. and Lt. was comparable.(11.5±1.9, vs 10.9±2.1 kg; 85.9±5.8 vs 84.4±6.1 cm) Table

Table 1

4 in C and 2 in D had mod to severe resp. distress (RDS score > 3). Both grs had comparable mean RDS score. PO2 (mmHg), PCO2 (mmHg), pH and dynamic compliance (CL) (ml/cmH2O/kg), total pulmonary resistance(RL) (cmH2O/L/sec), tidal volume (VT) (ml) and minutes ventilation (VE) (L). We concluded that early D therapy does not affect lug development at 2 years of age.

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